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The first round of the Barracuda Championship is in the books! I was highly entertained watching the PGA players take on a course I have played numerous times and is among my favorite.

I always love watching PGA Tour players take on courses I have played as it gives me an even greater appreciation of the course. It also fun when they hit a shot to know what they face on the next shot.

A lot of fun was had even if the Golf Channel announcers did not know it was High Sierra, not High Sierra’s! Something you learn over the years of writing stories on the region!

Following are notes from the first round!

First-Round Notes – Thursday, July 30, 2020

Weather: Sunny. High of 85. Wind W/SW 10-20 mph.

First-Round Leaderboard:

Adam Schenk +14

Ryan Moore +14

Robert Streb +11

Seamus Power +11

Patrick Rodgers +11

Things to Know

  • Adam Schenk holds his first lead/co-lead after any round on the PGA TOUR
  • Ryan Moore cards a bogey-free round in his first Barracuda Championship start since 2008
  • With six consecutive birdies, Patrick Rodgers sets his best consecutive birdie streak on TOUR
  • Coming off a T3 at the 2019 Barracuda Championship, Robert Streb sits three points off the lead Scoring

The Barracuda Championship is employing the Modified Stableford scoring format, the first PGA TOUR event to use the 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.

Score Points

  • Albatross +8
  • Eagle +5
  • Birdie +2
  • Par 0
  • Bogey -1
  • Double bogey or worse -3

First-Round Lead Notes

First-round leaders/co-leaders to win Barracuda Championship (most recent: Matt Bettencourt/2010) 3 First-round leaders/co-leaders to win on TOUR in 2019-20 (most recent: Collin Morikawa/Workday Charity Open)

 

Quotes from co-leader Adam Schenk after his round:

You’re in with +14 points; looked like a flawless scorecard out there. Was the round as flawless as it looked on the card?

ADAM SCHENK: Yeah, had a couple nice par saves, which always makes it easier to add up these points. You’re not going backwards at all and hit a couple wedges close and pretty much kept it out of trouble. On this golf course you have to — there is some room to drive the golf ball, but if you do drive it considerably off the fairway you can find some trouble, but I stayed away from that today.

You played this event once before at Montreux Golf Course, and coming here again, just the comparison, or how do you like this golf course?

ADAM SCHENK: Yeah, I liked the last golf course, and I like this one a little better, in my personal opinion. But the format is fun to play, and I think everybody enjoys it. You make just as many birdies as bogeys and still be positive for the day, so it is weird looking at the scoreboard and seeing minus 4 and it’s not near the top of the leaderboard, so it’s kind of strange. It’s just a fun format to play really.

You come in here ranked No. 110 on the FedExCup standings, only a couple of events to go. How important is it for you to have a really good week this week and move up to get higher up in the points?

ADAM SCHENK: Yeah, it’s definitely important. I’m not in next week. I’m not even sure if I can still qualify for next week (The PGA at Harding Park).

You can with a win.

ADAM SCHENK: All right, so that would be great to change travel plans. But a lot of golf, obviously, left to go. But excited about today’s round.

You mentioned there are a lot of opportunities in this format for eagles, so there’s a couple of drivable par-4s and the par-5s are reachable. How challenging is it when you have those opportunities and you don’t take advantage of them? How challenging is it for you mentally and for your patience?

ADAM SCHENK: You definitely feel like you go backwards a little bit, but like you said, there are so many of the reachable par-5s and the drivable par-4s. You can’t get them all, so when you don’t get one it’s important to make sure you’re making par and not forcing the issue too much and going backwards, so I think that’s when you really hurt yourself is when you go backwards on those holes. You can’t get them all, like I said, but just try and get most of them. If you miss one, just try and get the next.

 

Quotes from first round co-leader Ryan Moore:

Seven birdies today. Talk us through your round.

RYAN MOORE: Yeah, it was tough. The wind was kind of up and down out there. So distance control was everything, and we did a really good job figuring out early in the week kind of what stock clubs are going up here, and we did a great job all day today of just getting it right around pin high and controlling our distances really well, which is just really important on a golf course like this.

You’re in at +14; must be pretty happy with that round.

RYAN MOORE: Yeah, I am. For the afternoon obviously it’s always a bit calmer in the morning here and it’ll play a little bit softer, but it was a really nice day. The wind was pretty consistent. It was a little up and down for a few moments there, but it was pretty consistent all day, so we kind of knew what to expect. Honestly I just controlled the ball nicely, kept it in play and gave myself good chances on the scoring holes, which is — that was my goal coming in, and that was my plan, and I was able to execute it.

It was a very clean scorecard. You haven’t played in this event in 12 years. You’ve played it once before in 2008. What’s it like coming back?

RYAN MOORE: I mean, it’s beautiful. I absolutely love it up here. I live not too, too far from here down in Vegas, so it was an easy trip. Honestly, I really liked where my game had been trending over the last two tournaments. This one had been teetering as of a few weeks ago and I wasn’t going to be in the PGA next week, and I liked where my game was at, so it just made sense. I checked out this golf course as much as I could kind of online. It looked like a course I would enjoy visually, and it is. It’s a great, fun, enjoyable golf course to play. It’s very fair, and some good scoring opportunities out there.

An early tee time tomorrow, how do you think you’ll approach that in the morning?

RYAN MOORE: Well, it’s a little tricky because it’s so cold in the morning that the distances, it’s very different. Just get a good grasp on how far the ball is going in the morning when it’s only 50 or 55 degrees for the first hour, hour and a half we’ll be playing, and then adjust as we go. It’s a lot trickier than people think because it can change 10 percent throughout a day starting that early in the morning. You know, I’ll just have a good game plan, approach the golf course like I did today, and hopefully it works out.

By Dennis Miller

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