Barracuda Championship 2017

Round 4 - Chris Stroud wins at 290th attempt

August 7, 2017

Chris Stroud ended more than a decade of futility on the PGA Tour with two of the most important shots of his career.

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One was a 5-wood to 5 feet on the final hole of the Barracuda Championship that got him into a playoff. The other was a 5-iron to 12 feet on the par-5 18th hole that made him a PGA Tour winner for the first time in 11 years and 289 tournaments.

''Eleven years I've waited for that,'' Stroud said when he was introduced as a tour winner. ''So it's a dream come true.''

Not even in the picture for so much of the final round, Stroud rallied over the final six holes at Montreaux Golf and Country Club with three birdies and an eagle to get into a three-man playoff. He won with a two-putt birdie on the second extra hole.

The victory sends Stroud to the PGA Championship next week, the first of many perks. He also gets a two-year exemption, almost as important as playing a major for a 35-year-old who only had conditional status this year.

He also gets into the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, the start of the new year reserved only for PGA Tour winners.

It required a frenetic finish, especially with the modified Stableford format that awards five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and take away one point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse.

Stroud picked up 20 points in the final round - 11 of them on that final stretch - and got into the playoff with 45-year-old Greg Owen (making his 264th start on the PGA Tour without a victory) and PGA Tour rookie Richy Werenski.

Owen drove into the water on the 17th hole and made bogey, only to bounce back with a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th to join the playoff. Werenski also was clutch, making an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole.

Owen caught a bad lie in the bunker on the 18th hole in the playoff, bladed it out to 45 feet and missed his birdie putt. He was eliminated when Stroud two-putted from 25 feet for birdie, and Werenski calmly rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt.

''Disappointed,'' Owen said. ''This time of my career, you don't get many more chances.''

Returning to the 18th hole, Stroud hit 5-iron to 12 feet. Werenski went long, chipped to 25 feet and missed the birdie putt.

Stroud was inspired by Sergio Garcia, who finally won a major this year at the Masters after 70 tries in the majors as a pro. He ran into the Masters champion at the AT&T Byron Nelson this year.

''I gave him a hug and said congratulations and he said, 'Just take it easy. It will come to you.' And I don't think he even realized how important that was for me,'' Stroud said. ''I took a back seat. I didn't push so much to try to win a golf tournament. I just did the best I could to prepare and to show up every week ready to play. And it just came to me.''

Round 3 - Greg Owen takes over lead

August 6, 2017

Greg Owen of England had nine birdies on Saturday to take five-point third round lead of the Barracuda Championship.

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Owen had eight birdies and three pars on 11 holes before a double-bogey on 18 to finish a 14-point round in the modified Stableford scoring system that gave him 37 points going into Sunday's final round.

Stuart Appleby and Derek Fathauer both had birdies on 18 to finish round three tied for second with 32 points. Ricky Barnes had 15 points, including five consecutive birdies, to move up 14 spots into fourth place with 31 points. Second-round leader Richy Werenski had three of his four bogies on the back nine and fell into a tie for fifth with Tom Hoge, Ben Martin and Dicky Pride with 30 points apiece.

The tournament is the PGA Tour's only Stableford scoring event. The system awards eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and deducts a point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse.

Round 2 - Stuart Appleby in contention

August 5, 2017

Stuart Appleby dragged his chronically bad back to within a point of the lead after the second round at the Barracuda Championship in Nevada on Friday.

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Appleby, the first round leader, stayed in contention by collecting six birdies and two bogeys for 10 points in the 'Modified Stableford' format at Montreux Country Club in Reno.

He ended the day in second place with 24 points, a point behind PGA Tour rookie Richy Werenski, who sank a 15-foot eagle putt at the last to take the halfway lead.

“To get 10 points today was nice,” Appleby, a nine-times PGA Tour winner who has not lifted a trophy since he shot 59 in the final round at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic, told reporters.

“Walking to the first tee that would have been a dream (because) I wasn't really warming up that good on the range and was a little concerned but I made the cut, here we go, we’ll see what happens.

“I’m starting to make birdies, I’m rolling it nice, reading it nice. I’ve just got to keep the ball in the middle of the clubface and see if I can grab 20 points or something over the weekend.”

Appleby, 46, said he never knows from day to day how his body will feel after major back surgery in 2015.

“I've got to try and just see if I can get my body to behave over four days.

"I'm hitting it down the middle. My distance is not there or anything like that, but I'm hitting it where I can place the ball in the right positions.”

Round 1 - John Huh putts way in to lead

August 4, 2017

John Huh made plenty of putts in the Barracuda Championship, which leads to good results no matter how the score is kept.

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Huh took only 24 putts on Thursday at Montreaux Golf and Country Club, the last one from 6 feet for his eighth birdie on his final hole to give him 15 points and a one-point lead over Stuart Appleby and Miguel Angel Carballo.

''Twenty-four putts is always nice. That was the key to make a few birdies,'' Huh said. ''Hopefully, I can do it the next three days.''

Appleby also had eight birdies against two bogeys, while Carballo made up ground with a pair of eagles, one in which he holed out from 160 yards on No. 17.

This is the only PGA Tour event that uses the modified Stableford format that awards five points for an eagle and three points for a birdie, while deducting one point for a bogey and three points for a double bogey or worse.

Huh, who hasn't won since Mexico as a rookie in 2012, tied for third the only other time he played the Barracuda Championship in 2014. The timing couldn't be better. He is not in the PGA Championship next week, meaning he has only the Barracuda Championship and the Wyndham Championship in two weeks to finish in the top 125 in the FedEx Cup and keep his full card for next season. Huh currently is at No. 112.

That's a goal for eight of the top nine players on the leaderboard. Appleby and Carballo are outside the top 200.

Six players were at 13 points, a group that included Ryan Palmer. He needs to win to get into the PGA Championship next week at Quail Hollow. The PGA is holding a spot for a player who wins at Montreaux that is not already eligible.

Carballo only had three birdies against two bogeys, but those two eagles were worth the equivalent of five birdies (10 points). After holing out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the 16th, he holed out from 160 yards on the next hole. Then after he missed the green at No. 1 from the fairway and made bogey, the Argentine ripped a 3-wood that couldn't see it was close until he got up near the green and saw it 8 feet from the hole.

''We were hoping for the best and it ended up being right next to the pin,'' he said.

Davis Love III, who celebrates the 20-year anniversary of his PGA Championship victory next week, had 11 points. His son, Dru Love, was at minus 4 points and toward the bottom of the pack.

Scores