Barracuda Championship 2017: Chris Stroud Captures 1st-Ever PGA Tour Win

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2017

RENO, NV - AUGUST 06:  Chris Stroud reacts to his birdie putt on the 18th hole  during the final round of the Barracuda Championship at Montreux Country Club on August 6, 2017 in Reno, Nevada.  (Photo by Marianna Massey/Getty Images)
Marianna Massey/Getty Images

Chris Stroud prevailed in a three-man playoff at the 2017 Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nevada, for his first career PGA Tour event victory.

He beat Richy Werenski and Greg Owen in Sunday's playoff after they all finished with 44 points in the Stableford scoring system, which rewards players with the highest point total. The tournament's official website explained a double eagle is worth eight points, an eagle is five, a birdie is two, a par is zero, a bogey is negative one and a double bogey or worse is negative three.

The full scoreboard is available at GolfChannel.com.

The playoff occurred on the par-five 18th hole, and Owen was quickly eliminated with a par, while Werenski and Stroud each birdied. Stroud then notched another birdie on the second playoff hole, besting Werenski's par.

There was plenty of drama just getting to the playoff.

Owen, who held the lead entering play Sunday, needed a birdie on No. 18 to force the three-way playoff after bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17. Stroud wouldn't have even made the playoff without a clutch eagle on No. 18, and Werenski posted an eagle of his own on 15, as well as late birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.

The PGA Tour shared clutch shots from Stroud and Werenski:

All three playoff competitors were striving for their first PGA Tour event victory, per Alex Margulies of KRNV in Nevada. Stroud thrived under the pressure on the 18th with his eagle-birdie-birdie finish.

Despite his playoff elimination, Owen's 66 in the third round gave him the lead before the final day of competition. Stuart Appleby and Derek Fathauer were tied for second and five points behind, but neither scored the tournament-shifting eagles or birdies late Sunday when needed.

Appleby parred each of the final five holes on his way to a final-round 68 and 41 points total, good enough for a fourth-place tie with Tom Hoge.

Fathauer tied Robert Garrigus for sixth place with 40 points after shooting a 71 Sunday. Despite an eagle on No. 14 and birdie on No. 15, bogeys on Nos. 13 and 16—as well as three bogeys and just two birdies on the front nine—proved costly.

As for the leader, Owen struggled to find his consistency from the first three rounds when he posted a 68, 66 and 66, respectively, and finished with a 70. Two birdies and seven pars on the front nine put him in position, but three bogeys and two birdies on the back cost him the lead before his critical birdie on No. 18.

Owen couldn't hold off Stroud, who shot a head-turning 64 Sunday for 20 points to make a dramatic charge up the leaderboard. In addition to his eagle on No. 18, the victor tallied three straight birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 15 and six birdies on the front nine to overcome two bogeys.

His performance underscored the importance of playing high-risk, high-reward golf in the Stableford system with any score of a double-bogey or worse worth the same penalty.

Sam Saunders (39 points), Patton Kizzire (38 points) and Ryan Palmer (38 points) rounded out the top 10, and poor weather suspended play multiple times before Stroud captured the title in the playoff.

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