Joel Dahmen leads Barracuda Championship with 16 points

Aug 5, 2021, 6:44 AM | Updated: 6:49 pm

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — Joel Dahmen scored 16 points with eight birdies in a bogey-free round Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA Tour event that uses the modified Stableford scoring system.

Players receive 8 points for an albatross, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie and 0 for par. A point is subtracted for a bogey, and 3 points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.

“It was the best I could have done today, probably,” Dahmen said. “I made every putt. Yeah, it’s tough at altitude sometimes. You don’t really know what you’re doing out here. It’s all guess. With the wind blowing the way it was, I didn’t have a number in mind or anything, but I hit some bad shots that turned out great, hit some good shots that turned out good, and my ball just found the hole today.”

Stephan Jaeger of Germany was second with 14 points. He eagled the par-4 eighth and par-5 12th on Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.

“Obviously, in this format eagles really catapult you forward, five points,” Jaeger said. “One was a 3-footer on eight. I hit it on the green and it was pretty short. The other one … I made like a 25-footer.”

Scott Harrington was third at 13, Michael Thompson and Emiliano Grillo had 12, and Roger Sloan 11.

The winner will earn a spot in the PGA Championship next year but not the Masters because it is held opposite a World Golf Championship — the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dahmen won the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in March in the Dominican Republic for his first PGA Tour victory. That tournament also was played opposite a WGC event, the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Dahmen had an unexpected birdie on the par-4 16th.

“I slapped one in pretty good on 16 I didn’t deserve,” Dahmen said. “Like a 40-footer up over a hill. Probably that one I didn’t deserve, but when it’s your day, it’s your day, and hopefully we keep it going.”

Defending champion Richy Werenski had eight points.

Players are fighting for spots in the FedEx Cup standing, with the top 125 after the Wyndham Championship next week earning spots in the playoff opener at Liberty National. Twenty of the 25 players between Nos. 126-150 are in the field.

No. 91 Brandt Snedeker was at minus 1, and No. 120 Matt Kuchar and No. 140 Ryan were at minus 3.

The three Olympians in the field — Mito Pereira of Chile, Rafael Campos of Puerto Rico and Thomas Pieters of Belgium — are playing together the first two rounds.

Pereira, a three-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour this year who was in the playoff for the bronze medal, had a seven-point day. Pieters had three points, and Campos was at minus 4.

John Daly was last in the 132-player field at minus 9.

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Joel Dahmen leads Barracuda Championship with 16 points