The Barracuda Championship finds a new home this week at the Tahoe Mountain Club’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Greenwood course. Here is an in-depth look at the PGA Tour’s modified stableford alternate event.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: The now World No.12 Collin Morikawa claimed his maiden PGA Tour title here last year, defeating Troy Merritt by three points, but will not defend as he takes his place among the elite at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
COURSE: Opening in 2004, Old Greenwood will play to a par-71 this week and measure 7,390 yards for its PGA Tour debut. Sitting nearby Lake Tahoe and high above sea level, the Californian course will play shorter than its listed yardage and features inspiration from some famous layouts around the world.
Like many courses designed by the 18-time major winner, Nicklaus’ large undulating putting surfaces place an importance on ball striking, while North Berwick’s famed Redan hole is somewhat replicated at the par-3 7th. Riviera and Muirfield Village have also helped inspire holes on the pine tree lined course where eagles will be worth five points, birdies two and pars zero, while bogeys deduct one point and double bogeys cost three this week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
It is hard to imagine two-time major winner and former World No.1 Martin Kaymer would have pictured himself ever taking part in a PGA Tour alternate even just a few years ago, but 2020 is full of strange occurrences.
Kaymer simply teeing it up here suggests he is determined to find his game wherever opportunities present themselves and despite this week marking his first appearance since March the German deserves to be considered among the better chances.
Kaymer recorded four top-20 finishes on the European Tour earlier this year and is a renowned hard worked that won’t have wasted his time away from tournament golf.
RIGHT: 2019 champion Collin Morikawa will not be in California to defend his maiden PGA Tour win this week. PHOTO: Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
Sydneysider Cameron Davis put an end to his run of missed cuts at the 3M Open, where the former Aussie Open winner recorded a T12 five shots behind winner Michael Thompson.
Davis did miss the cut here last year, but a new course and some confidence should help a player who might have the right mix of making birdies and keeping big numbers off the card in this unique event.
Like Davis, Aaron Baddeley found some form last week, rocketing home with a Sunday 64 to take a share of 23rd in Minnesota and will be looking to continue his good form against a slightly weaker field here.
Baddeley has an alternate tournament victory to his credit on the PGA Tour and as one of the best putters in recent history could be a big points accumulator this week if his sometimes askew driver behaves.
72-HOLE RECORD: 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy set the points record here with 49 modified stableford points on his way to victory in 2014, resulting in a five point margin over American Justin Hicks.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Greg Chalmers (2016) and Geoff Ogilvy (2014).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Cameron Davis, Rhein Gibson, Cameron Percy and John Senden.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 11:30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 11:30am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 12pm)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 12pm)
*AEST, check local guides