Barracuda Championship gets underway Thursday at Old Greenwood
Special to The Union
Reigning champion: Collin Morikawa
Dates: Thursday through Sunday
Venue: Old Greenwood
Television: The Golf Channel
Purse: $3.5 million
FedEx Cup points: 300
Format: Modified Stableford
Field: 132 PGA Tour members
TRUCKEE — Some of the top golfers in the world will be teeing it up at Old Greenwood this week as the PGA Tour makes a stop in Truckee for the annual Barracuda Championship.
The 22nd annual tournament will take place Thursday through Sunday and will be played at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Golf Course, where the tournament length is set at 7,390 yards with a par of 71.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 there will be no spectators at the event. Live television coverage will be provided by The Golf Channel.
Thursday’s opening round will mark the first year Tahoe Mountain Club has hosted the Barracuda Championship. In past years the tournament was held at Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno.
“In our search for a new PGA Tour tournament venue, the Old Greenwood Golf Course at Tahoe Mountain Club stood out from the beginning, which says a lot about the location and the course,” said Barracuda Championship Tournament Director Chris Hoff in December, when Old Greenwood was announced as the tournament site. “We are truly looking forward to this new chapter. Old Greenwood is the perfect fit with a challenging Jack Nicklaus signature course and an ownership group and community that recognizes the value and prestige that comes with hosting a PGA Tour event.”
Old Greenwood typically plays as a par-72 course, but the 10th hole has been changed from a par 5 to a par 4. Other changes, according to Director of Golf Travis Alley, include rough heights of more than 3 inches, and firmer and faster greens.
The tournament will be the only event on the PGA Tour to use the Modified Stableford scoring format. Rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, a Modified Stableford involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. For example, a player receives eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, and zero points for par. Players lose a point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey. Once a player has taken two strokes more than par, they may pick up their ball as three points is the most each golfer can lose on a given hole. The format is designed to incentivize risk taking due to potential for large payoffs by knocking in an eagle or double eagle.
“It’s a perfect compliment to Old Greenwood,” said Alley. “Being a Nicklaus signature, there’s a ton of risk-reward style holes here. So playing a Stableford format really entices you to want to go at everything. It’s going to be pretty cool to see theses guys hitting a lot of drivers and playing aggressive … it’s a perfect format for this style of golf course.”
“It’s going to be on TV to 1 billion people in 220 countries,” added Alley. “Being able to showcase Old Greenwood and the Truckee area, it’s a dream come true.”
The purse is set at $3.5 million and 132 PGA Tour players are expected to be in the field. The tournament will be worth 33 FedEx Cup points. After Friday’s round the field will be cut to 65 players. Golfers announced to be playing include three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, Charley Hoffman, Pat Perez, and tow of this year’s top ranked collegiate players, Pepperdine University’s Sahith Theegala and Brigham Young University’s Peter Kuest. The St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee, is taking place during the same time as the Barracuda and should attract the top PGA players due to the prominence of the event and the 550 FedEx Cup points on the line.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union.
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