Barracuda Championship 2020: Form guide for this week's Stableford event in California

Golfer Alex Noren
Alex Noren - one of the market leaders for this week's Barracuda Championship

The Barracuda Championship leaves Nevada for nearby California, with this week's instalment taking place over the Old Greenwood course. Words and stats by Andy Swales...

"All but one of the tournament's eight Stableford champions were inside the top-five at the half-way stage. And six of these eight winners were either leading outright, or tied for the lead, through 54 holes."

The PGA Tour welcomes a new venue to its schedule, with the Barracuda Championship being played at Tahoe Mountain Club, an exclusive ski resort in Truckee, California.

After 21 consecutive years at Montreux in Nevada, the tournament crosses the state border to be staged at another stunning Jack Nicklaus design.

Tahoe Mountain Club is barely 30 miles from Montreux, and is laid out within 600 acres of picturesque forest and meadowland.

Opened in 2004, the club's Old Greenwood course is surrounded by the many peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

And similar to its predecessor Montreux, which first hosted a PGA Tour event in 1999, Old Greenwood is located almost 6,000 feet above sea level - which means the ball will travel around 10-15% further than normal in this rarefied air.

Towering pine trees line most of the fairways at a venue where water comes into play on six holes.

The tournament was originally scheduled for early July, but was delayed by four weeks to accommodate the revised post-Covid calendar.

However, despite a change of venue, the tournament will still be contested using a modified Stableford format.

The points' system for this 72-hole tournament is as follows: Double Eagle: 8 pts; Eagle: 5; Birdie: 2; Par: 0; Bogey: -1; Double Bogey or worse: -3.

With more points awarded for a birdie, than a bogey, it is a format devised to encourage attacking golf.

In each of the previous eight instalments, using this modified Stableford system, all winning totals have ranged between 43 and 49 points - although that could easily change this year on a new untried layout.

Once again, the tournament is being staged in the same week as the more prestigious WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational in Tennessee.

Hard to call

Traditionally, this has been a notoriously difficult tournament to call for two reasons: The unusual points format, combined with a normally mediocre field made up of run-of-the-mill pros who have failed to qualify for the WGC event which also takes place this week.

One trend which has remained fairly constant, is that eventual champions tend to make a strong start.

And that's probably because it's slightly easier, mentally, to maintain your position on the leaderboard in a Stableford event, than when attempting to safeguard your score in the more ruthless and vulnerable strokeplay format - when one bad shot can ruin an entire card.

All but one of the tournament's eight Stableford champions were inside the top-five at the half-way stage.

Check out latest betting ahead of this week's Barracuda Championship

And six of these eight winners were either leading outright, or tied for the lead, through 54 holes. In other words, a good format for front-runners.

Three to watch

Among the contenders this week is Brendan Steele, the world No 102. Two of his three starts since the Tour resumed in June have yielded top-15 finishes - including a tie-for-13th at Muirfield Village.

And since the Barracuda became a Stableford event in 2012, he has finished inside the top-25 on five occasions - more times than anyone else.

Two others to consider are Korean Si Woo Kim and Swede Alexander Noren.

Both golfers have the ability to be playing in Tennessee this week, but have lost their way in recent months.

Kim has had a couple of T-20s during the past month, while Noren's tie-for-third in Minnesota at the weekend was his highest finish anywhere in the world since July 2018.

Just one word of caution: Branden Grace is currently among the leading reserves for the tournament in Tennessee, so there's an outside chance he could head to Memphis should a small number of golfers decide to withdraw from the WGC event.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Table below shows current form

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W30 W29 W28 W27 W26 W25 W24 W10 W9 W8
Branden Grace MC MC MC MC 61 19 42
Lanto Griffin 44 MC 21 24 MC MC 36 29
Kurt Kitayama MC 47 53
Matthias Schwab 32 MC 21 42
Sebastian Munoz 48 MC MC MC 28 MC MC 14
Brendan Steele 13 52 6 MC MC 4
Vaughn Taylor MC MC MC MC 52 MC 67 42
Ryan Moore 12 40 MC MC MC 52
Michael Thompson 1 MC 64 46 8 MC 57
Martin Kaymer MC 10
Alexander Noren 3 MC MC 21 60 MC MC
Si Woo Kim 46 18 64 57 11 MC MC MC MC
Bud Cauley 44 MC Wd MC 29 32 42
Brian Stuard MC MC 30 20 52 43 MC 66
Harry Higgs MC MC MC 70 MC 52 38 42 58
Charley Hoffman MC 7 41 MC MC 13
Jhonattan Vegas MC MC 24 17 60 27 9
Talor Gooch 18 MC 17 Wd MC MC 43 13 38
Pat Perez 23 39 45 MC 49 MC
Troy Merritt MC MC 22 8 60 70 MC 24
Emiliano Grillo 3 MC MC 39 60 MC MC Dq MC 3
Kristoffer Ventura MC 8 21 49 4 20
Wyndham Clark MC MC Wd MC 64 MC 68 11
Sam Burns 32 17 30 24 MC 36 64
Russell Henley MC 7 32 MC 8
Ryan Armour MC MC 4 6 74 MC
Kyle Stanley 32 MC MC 24 MC MC 3
Russell Knox MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Robby Shelton 3 MC MC MC MC 56 11 52
Maverick McNealy MC MC 8 58 32 MC 11 27
Chase Seiffert MC 4 MC 46 MC 52
Patrick Rodgers 32 18 MC 45 MC MC 14 24 21 35
Kevin Tway MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Matthew NeSmith MC MC MC MC 33 49 MC 38 6
Aaron Wise MC MC MC 46 MC 35
Denny McCarthy 32 58 MC Wd MC 66 MC MC
Will Gordon MC MC 3 20
Zack Sucher MC 68 37 64 27
Sam Ryder MC 7 MC MC 41 MC MC 53 3
Adam Schenk 41 39 30 MC MC 43 MC 14
Cameron Tringale 3 MC 30 MC 27
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 66 35 45 MC MC MC 42 38 14
Brice Garnett 26 MC MC 17 MC 11 20
Zac Blair MC MC 57 MC 55 36 MC MC
Chesson Hadley MC 52 MC 58 23 MC MC
Scott Stallings 62 58 39 6 48 53
Cameron Davis 12 MC MC MC MC 8 27
Brian Gay MC 27 MC MC MC MC 62 MC
Beau Hossler MC MC MC MC MC 24 38 35
Josh Teater 56 MC 46 62 36 MC MC 2
Richy Werenski 3 35 21 46 78 58 17 MC
Joseph Bramlett MC MC MC 41 3 2 MC 9
Bronson Burgoon 41 61 MC MC MC 38 Wd
Chris Stroud Wd 48 30 MC 28 MC
Nick Watney 12 MC Wd MC 27
Peter Malnati MC 65 MC MC 70 MC
Fabian Gomez MC MC 30 MC 66 MC 64 52
Roger Sloan MC 27 MC 66 MC MC 60
Wes Roach MC 18 MC 5 MC 9
Kramer Hickok 58 MC MC MC 21 MC
Aaron Baddeley 23 MC MC MC MC
Bo Hoag 12 62 MC MC MC 49 MC 35
Hank Lebioda 26 MC MC 41 37 56 MC MC MC
Austin Cook 56 39 39 54 MC 61 44
Ted Potter MC MC 66 MC MC MC MC 6
Robert Streb MC MC MC MC 37 59 MC 27
JJ Spaun MC 52 30 MC MC
Matt Every 68 Wd MC MC MC MC MC
Sebastian Cappelen MC MC MC MC MC MC MC 58
Cameron Percy MC Wd MC MC 61 44
Peter Uihlein 62 40 MC 32 14 44
DJ Trahan MC MC MC MC Wd MC 52
Mark Anderson MC MC 64 MC 61 27
Brandon Hagy 46 39 MC 21 64
Tim Wilkinson 53 31 MC MC 54 56 MC 20
Ryan Brehm MC MC 18 MC MC 35
Rhein Gibson MC MC 45 42 27
Nelson Ledesma MC MC 59 MC MC 39 16 44
Shawn Stefani MC MC MC 44 MC 14
Vincent Whaley MC MC 66 56 MC 9
Martin Trainer MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Tyler McCumber Wd MC MC MC MC MC MC 20
Jonathan Byrd MC MC 12 MC MC
Chris Baker 41 45 58 33 42 MC
Seamus Power MC MC 12 MC MC 35
Ben Martin MC 9 MC 6 MC 14
Brandon Harkins 17 58 56 55 69 6 23 MC
Michael Gellerman 46 45 MC 58
Rob Oppenheim MC MC MC MC MC 44 69 MC 9
Johnson Wagner MC 57 66 35
David Hearn MC MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Bill Haas 58 MC 48 MC 27
Doug Ghim 18 MC 63 MC MC 20
Dominic Bozzelli MC Wd MC MC MC MC
Michael Gligic 26 MC MC MC MC MC MC
Roberto Castro MC MC 14
Sangmoon Bae MC 58 MC MC 13 7 35
George McNeill 64 39 35
Sam Saunders MC MC 14 62 MC
Ryan Blaum MC MC MC
Ben Taylor MC 70 MC MC MC MC
Alex Cejka 46 MC MC MC MC 60
Greg Chalmers MC MC 67 MC
Chad Campbell MC MC MC
Hunter Mahan MC MC
MJ Daffue 22 52
David Lingmerth MC MC 46 MC MC 50
Justin Suh MC MC
Michael Kim MC MC MC MC MC
Arjun Atwal 53 45 MC 50
John Merrick 58 MC
Ricky Barnes MC MC MC
Robert Garrigus 53 Wd MC MC MC MC 56 MC
Freddie Jacobson MC
Dylan Meyer
John Senden MC MC MC 64
Daniel Chopra MC 69
Chris Couch 35
Brendon de Jonge MC 64
Carlos Franco MC
Parker McLachlin MC MC
Ted Purdy MC MC
John Rollins MC
Bo Van Pelt 65 Wd 68 MC MC MC 60
David Berganio
Jason Gore
Shaun Micheel
Charlie Beljan Wd
Sahith Theegala MC MC MC
Robert Allenby MC MC MC MC MC
Dicky Pride
Charlie Wi MC MC 4 67
Omar Uresti MC
Brian Davis MC
Jason Bohn MC
Will MacKenzie
Heath Slocum
Jonathan Kaye MC
Derek Bayley
Peter Kuest MC MC MC MC

Andy Swales,

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