With the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational taking away all of the top players, the Barracuda Championship will provide a second-tier PGA Tour event. The tournament moves from Lake Tahoe’s Montreux to nearby Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course.
The event may be harder to handicap than the St. Jude Invitational. The golfers aren’t as familiar as the more recognizable names, and with a new golf course, there is no past history of how golfers have played there.
Another wrinkle is the format. This event uses a Modified Stableford scoring system. Instead of a stroke play, each score is given a point value. An albatross is eight points, an eagle five, a birdie two, a par zero, a bogey loses one and a double or worse loses three.
Odds to Win Barracuda Championship
So the emphasis is on aggressive play. Bombers are going to try and take advantage of the high altitude and longer ball flight. There are three very drivable par 4s. Last year, Collin Morikawa won with a total of 47 points.
Golfers who make birdies and who have good green in regulation stats are going to do well here. Patrick Rodgers leads the tour in total birdies. Another golfer who should do well here is Alex Noren, who is 29th in scoring average.
Who else will thrive at the Barracuda Championship? We take a look at some golfers to consider, and others who might not be worth the money.
Golfers to Consider
Richy Werenski (33/1)
Werenski was battling for the lead at the 3M Open last week until a final round 70 dropped him into a tie for third. Still, it was his second, third-place finish this season.
He leads the PGA Tour in par-3 scoring, and is 31st in birdie average.
Emiliano Grillo (33/1)
Grillo is another golfer who tied for third at last week’s 3M Open. Grillo had rounds of 64 and 65 on the weekend. He has another T3, at the second-tier tour event, the Puerto Rico Open.
Maverick McNeely (55/1)
I’m not usually one to bet on rookies winning in their first year, but McNeely might have the right stuff to do well at the Barracuda Championship. He’s accurate off the tee, has a decent greens in regulation percentage, and his lack of length won’t hurt him here.
What could really make McNeely a contender is his ability to pile up birdies and his putting. He’s 16th in putting, and 23rd in birdie average. He finished tied for eighth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a month ago.
Golfers to Avoid
Patrick Rodgers (28/1)
If someone is made to take advantage of this system, it should be Rodgers. So, the fact that he hasn’t done better here is a bit puzzling. A change of venue might be what the 28-year-old needs, but the fact that he is winless on the PGA Tour makes him a reach for this week.
Ryan Moore (22/1)
The Barracuda Championship is a great place to avoid a favorite, and Moore doesn’t do anything to make one want to change that strategy. He’s accurate off the tee, but doesn’t have any top-20 rankings in categories that are going to bring home a victory.