The PGA Tour heads westward this week as the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada at the Montrêux Golf and Country Club on August 2-5. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is a mountain course that features water heavily, including both lakes and waterfalls. A strong field containing 6 former major winners, including Padraig Harrington, is expected to compete for the title.
The tournament was founded in 1999 and is an alternate event, meaning it does not grant automatic qualification to the Masters. However, it does offer points towards the FedEx Cup, qualification to the PGA Championship and 2 years of automatic PGA Tour status for the winner. The Barracuda Championship is also famous for using the Modified Stableford scoring system which rewards risk taking rather than the standard stroke play used at the majority of Tour events. Golfers seek to accumulate points, with a maximum penalty of -2 for double bogey or worse up to +5 for an eagle and +8 for an albatross. The tournament’s only 2-time winners are J. J. Henry and Vaughn Taylor, with Australian Geoff Ogilvy providing the best score with 49 points in 2014.
The Barracuda Championship’s relatively isolated location and its status as an alternate event make it one of the more low-key events on the PGA Tour. However, the beautiful views and the tournament’s proximity to Lake Tahoe make it an excellent addition to any vacation. Children 15 and under are free, and general admission is $27.75 for any single day or $59.95 for weekly access. Spectators can also buy tickets for Tito’s Terrace, a covered VIP skybox overlooking the 9th green. Tickets cost $52.25 for any day of the tournament and includes 2 drink tickets, with additional food and drink available for purchase. The most inclusive option is the Lexus Chalet, a hospitality suite located on the 18th green and including complimentary food and drink. Lexus Chalet tickets cost $202.25 per day. In addition, complimentary tickets are available for active duty, reserve, retiree and veterans of the armed forces and National Guard, as well as for first responders.
Fans who want to follow the action live can catch the tournament on the Golf Channel. Coverage is provided Thursday and Friday, 6:30-9pm ET and Saturday and Sunday, 6-9pm ET. Unfortunately radio and PGA Tour Live streaming services are not available for the Barracuda Championship.