TRUCKEE, California – Joel Dahmen scored 16 points on Thursday with eight birdies in a bogey-free round to lead the first round in the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA tournament using the custom Stableford scoring system.
Players receive 8 points for an albatross, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie and 0 for par. A point is deducted for a bogey, and 3 points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.
“It was probably the best I could have done today,” Dahmen said. “I made it every time. Yeah, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. You do not really know what you’re doing here. It’s all guessing. With the wind blowing like it was, I do not have a number in mind or anything, but I hit some bad shots that were great, some good shots that turned out well, and my ball found the hole today. “
Stephan Jaeger of Germany was second with 14 points. He finished par-4 eighth and par-5 12th at the Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.
“Obviously, eagles in this format are really catapulting you forward, five points,” Jaeger said. “One was a three-footer at eight. I hit it on the green and it was pretty short. The other one … I made like a 25-footer.”
The winner will win a place in the PGA Championship next year, but not the Masters, as it is being held against a World Golf Championship – the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dahmen won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic in March for his first PGA victory. The tournament was also played against a WGC event, the Dell Technologies Match Play.
Dahmen had an unexpected birdie on the par-4 16th.
“I got one in 16 things I did not deserve,” Dahmen said. “Like a foot 40 feet above a hill. Probably the one I did not deserve, but if it’s your day, it’s your day, and hopefully we keep going.”
Defending Champion Richy Werenski had eight points.
Players are vying for places in the FedEx Cup, with the top -125 following the Wyndham Championship next week in the play-off match at Liberty National. Twenty of the 25 players between no. 126-150 is in the field.
Pereira, a three-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour who was in the playoffs for the bronze medal this year, had a day of seven points. Pieters had three points, and Campos was at minus 4.
John Daly was last seen in the field of 132 players at minus 9.