The Barracuda Championship is the first PGA Tour stop to accept crypto
The celebs kicked off last week with a raucous party atmosphere at Edgewood Tahoe, where Tony Romo emerged victorious.
Now, golf in the area is getting a bit more serious as PGA Tour pros arrive in Truckee, Calif. for the 24th Barracuda Championship.
The four-day event begins Thursday at Tahoe Mountain Club on the Old Greenwood course.
Six former Barracuda champions are in the backfield event: Richy Werenski (2020), Andrew Putnam (2018), Chris Stroud (2017), Greg Chalmers (2016), JJ Henry (2012) and Scott Piercy (2011).
Homegrown star Ollie Osborne, a Bishop Manogue High School graduate who later played at SMU, is on the court with a sponsor exemption.
David Longmire, who won the 2022 Reno Open, a mini-tour event, in June, also secured a spot in the tournament.
One player who won’t be at the Barracuda is defending champion Eric van Rooyen. He picked up his first career PGA Tour win at the 2021 Barracuda Championship, earning him a spot at the British Open this week in St. Andrews.
He became the first player with a winning score of +50 since the introduction of the Modified Stableford scoring system in 2012. He is the sixth straight winner of the Barracuda Championship but the first since Collin Morikawa in 2019 to win the tournament in his debut .
Van Rooyen’s score of +50 (+7/+17/+10/+16), set a record for the Modified Stableford format event. Geoff Ogilvy finished the 2014 Barracuda at +49.
The Barracuda is the only PGA Tour event that uses this scoring system. It is also the only stage of the Tour organized opposite a major championship.
The field includes 50 players from the DP World Tour.
The best players to watch
Maverick McNealy, who has finished top-20 in back-to-back events, is the 12-1 favorite according to Tipico. McNealy ranks third in Eagles, 18th in birdie average and 34th in scoring average this year.
Other top contenders include Alex Noren, Cam Davis, Mark Hubbard and Taylor Pendrith.
Hubbard has just achieved his best result of the season with a third place in the Barbasol Championship. He made 14 cups with six top-25 finishes in 18 events.
Noren, who comes from Sweden, has 11 wins as a professional, none on the PGA Tour, most of them in Europe. He finished ninth in the Barracuda in 2020. He just finished 30th at last week’s Genesis Scottish Open, which ended a streak of missed cuts in three consecutive tournaments.
Matthias Schwab could be another top player to watch this week, although he is listed at 35-1. He just finished 16th at the John Deere Classic. Schwab was eighth after three rounds before shooting 1 on his final round. Schwab earned his PGA Tour card last year and had three top-10 finishes in his freshman year. He has made 14 of 18 cups, with five top 25 finishes this season.
Other top contenders include Rasmus Hojgaard, who finished tied for 10th at Scottish. He has missed just one cut in 12 starts on the DP World Tour and ranks 11th in driving distance for the season. Cam Davis is coming off an eight-place finish with four runs in the ’60s at John Deere.
A first for crypto
The Barracuda Championship is the first PGA Tour event to accept cryptocurrency payments for tickets as well as hospitality and sponsorship packages. Over 300 different cryptocurrencies are accepted, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.
“We are extremely excited to take this first step in innovating the sport we all know and love, and to offer our spectators a new way to enjoy the tournament,” said Tournament Director, Chris Hoff. “The landscape of professional golf continues to innovate and evolve, and we are honored to usher the PGA Tour into this new space.”
The Barracuda also offers an exclusive VIP experience only for golf fans who purchase with cryptocurrency. The VIP package will include private hospitality, an official tournament pro-am team and honorary observer experiences.
Begin around 7 a.m. local (10 a.m. ET) Thursday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. local (11:30 a.m.) Saturday and Sunday after the field of 156 players is cut to the top 65 and tied.
Modified Stableford Notation
The Barracuda is the only PGA Tour event to use the scoring system, in which players earn points for aggressive play.
A double eagle is worth 8 points, an eagle is worth 5, a birdie is worth 2 to the golfer, par is 0 points, bogey is worth minus 1 and double bogey or worse is worth minus 3.
The scholarship is $3.7 million, including $666,000 for the winner.
The Golf Channel will air the Barracuda Thursday and Friday from 4-7 p.m. ET, Saturday and Sunday from 6-9 p.m. ET.
1999 Notah Begay III
2001 John Cook
2003 Kirk Triplet
2006 Will MacKenzie
2008 Parker McLachlin
2009 John Rollin
2010 Matt Bettencourt
2012 J. J. Henry
2013 Gary Woodland
2015 J. J. Henry
2018 Andrew Putnam
2019 Collin Morikawa
2020 Richy Werensky
2021 Erik van Rooyen