TRUCKEE, California – Emiliano Grillo had an early eagle in a 17-point round in smoky conditions on Friday to take the lead in the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA tournament to use the custom Stableford scoring system.
Players receive eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie and zero for track record. A point is deducted for a bogey, and three points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.
Grillo, the 28-year-old Argentine player who won the 2016 Frys.com Open for his only PGA Tour title, scored a total of 29 points on the Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.
“We left a lot of putts today,” Grillo said. “It could have been very good out there. Hit the ball well. Keep the ball on the fairway. Give myself a chance for eagles on the par 5s, which is key for this format.”
Adam Schenk was two points back after a 19-point day. He scored the par-5 sixth.
“The ball has handled the ball very well over the last few days,” Schenk said. “Make some pits, hit some wedge shots close. Take care of the par 5s. It’s definitely there for you.”
First round leader Joel Dahmen was three points back at 26 after a round of 10 points. Andrew Putnam, Scott Piercy and Scott Harrington had 25 points, with Piercy 144th and Harrington 176th in the race for FedEx Cup playoffs and PGA Tour tickets.
“I feel like my game is pretty good at the moment,” Piercy said. “Putter feels good. I feel I have control over my golf swing. Equipment is right. I need to put it together.”
The smoke from wildfires made it difficult to see balls in flight.
“You could not see the ball really well in the air,” Piercy said. “But you could see it take off and a few holes you could see it land and roll. But the nice thing was that the wind stopped because it was in the morning.”
Grillo scored nine points on the first three holes, making first place under the par-4, the eagle on the par-5 second and a birdie on the third third.
“It was very cold that morning,” said Grillo, 49th on the FedEx Cup standings. “Just try to touch it for as long as you can. I try to stay warm. And I could start with … like nine points. That was the key. If you’re going on a good day, you want to be good. start. next round. And I could do it today. “
He added birdies to the par-5 sixth, par-4 eighth, par-5 12th and par-4 16th.
The winner will win a place in the PGA Championship next year, but not the Masters, as the event will be played against a World Golf Championship – the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.
Defend Richy Werenski was 10th tied with 19 points.
The top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings after next week’s Wyndham Championship will secure places in the playoffs at Liberty National.
Nr. 129 Cameron percy had a day of 13 points to tie with 12 points for 12th place. Nr. 122 Scott Stallings was tied for 45th place with 12 points. Nr. 126 Patrick Rodgers and No. 127 Camilo Villegas cut the number by 10 points. Nr. 121 Matt Kuchar and no. 124 Nate Lashley missed the cut.
The three Olympians in the field – Mite Pereira of Chile, Rafael Campos of Puerto Rico and Thomas Pieters from Belgium – play the first two rounds together. Pieters had 12 points, while Pereira and Campos missed the cut.