Ogilvy On Course For Second Barracuda Success
Players who are not eligble to take part in the WGC-Bridgestone this week will battle it out in the Barracuda Championship in Nevada.
Formerly known as the Reno-Tahoe Open, this is a tournament conceived as an alternate event played alongside the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, being open to 132 players not eligible for the WGC competition.
Rather than stroke play, since 2012 the tournament has used the Modified Stableford system, the only one on the PGA Tour to do so. This method of scoring which can take some adjusting to, and punters are best advised to look for players who’ve shown they can adapt.
The Montreux Golf and Country Club, halfway between Reno and Tahoe in Nevada is a long par-72 of around 7400 yards, although as its average elevation is 5,600 feet above sea level the ball travels further than on a normal course so it doesn’t quite play as long as it appears. There are around 70 bunkers to contend with and a range of water hazards, but it is a fairly-straightforward lay-out.
In The Bunker
Promising youngster Austin Cook has created a positive impression in four PGA Tour events this season, and is prominent in the antepost betting this week but he isn’t one to rely on.
This is his first attempt at what is an unusual tournament and he’s up against some much more experienced opponents. At bigger odds he might be worth considering, but at 20/1, I won’t consider backing him in Nevada.
Usually a regular at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Geoff Ogilvy played the Barracuda Championship for the first time in a decade last year and won it. He hasn’t had a great season but has shown some bits and pieces of form, with a top twenty at the US Open and a top ten at the Wells Fargo Championship.
His proven ability to cope with the altitude and the scoring system make him a solid bet at 16/1.
Kyle Stanley has struggled since 2012, the season in which he broke into the top fifty and came close to winning his first PGA Tour title. But at the age of 27, time is still on his side, and he has recently registered his best performance of the season at the John Deere Classic where he made the top twenty. Twelve months ago, he made the top ten in this event at his first attempt and at 33/1, he could offer value this week.
The final name to add to your shortlist is Jonathan Byrd. His record this season has been poor, but a couple of top twenty-five finishes in his last two outings promised better things and his recent performance in this event has to be respected. He finished second in 2013 and third last year, and having demonstrated his liking for the format and the course, he has to be taken seriously at odds of 33/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication