Arjun Atwal – File Picture
Trucke, Calif, July 31: Arjun Atwal landed four birdies, but also gave away two bogeys as he totalled six points in the first round of the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA Tour on schedule currently to use the Modified Stable format scoring system.
Atwal, playing his second straight week after 3M Open last week, is lying Tied-38th, while Daniel Chopra is T-50 with four points that had four birdies and four bogeys. American-Indian Sahith Theegala is T-31st with seven points made up of four birdies and one bogey.
Atwal birdied fourth, seventh, 12th and 16th and dropped shots and points on ninth and 13th.
Ryan Moore carded a bogey-free round in his first Barracuda Championship start since 2008, while Adam Schenk joined him for his first lead or shard lead after any round on the PGA TOUR. Both have 14 points each, while three players, Robert Streb, Seamus Power and Patrick Rodgers are tied third at 11 each.
Atwal said, “I felt I had a good start and should have made more putts. Even though this is a new course (after 21 years) for the event, I used to like the old one (in Montreux, Nevada). But the course played nice and fair.”
On playing a second straight week, he added, “The health was good, did not feel tiredness and the back is holding up., I thought I might be stiff in the morning, when it was really cold, but my warm-up was really nice.”
“Obviously the premium is on getting birdies and more, so it is aggressive golf. It is an interesting format.”
The Barracuda Championship is the event on the PGA Tour which uses the Modified Stableford scoring format since The International in 2006. Players are allocated points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole with the goal of achieving the highest overall score. An albatross fetches eight points, while an eagle is rewarded with five. Birdies earn two points and a bogey is penalised with a minus one and a double bogey means minus three.
The 2019 winner, Collin Morikawa, who also won the Workday Charity Open recently, is not in the field, as he has qualified for the WGC-St. Jude Invitational.
Both Moore and Schenk had 14-point rounds with seven birdies and no bogeys in high altitude on the Old Greenwood Course, the first-time venue after 21 years across the border in Nevada at Montreux Golf Club.
The winner will earn a spot in the PGA Championship next week, if not already eligible. The top two from the top 10, not already eligible, will get spots in the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot