2021 Barracuda Championship betting odds, preview, and course notes
The PGA Tour’s quirky, Modified Stableford format is back this weekend, for one time only, at the 2021 Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California.
The alternate tournament to the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational will host 132 players at the 23rd annual event, which is the only one on tour that utilizes the Stableford scoring system to determine its winner.
Under the Stableford format, players either gain or lose points, based on strokes taken in relation to par. Unlike other PGA tournaments, the lower a player scores in strokes, the higher their numerical score is on the leaderboard.
This year's second-place finisher at Pebble Beach, Maverick McNealy, headlines as the +1400 favorite, while back-to-back Barracuda runner-up Troy Merritt (+2800) will attempt to finally secure a win, after he lost his lead in the final round of the last two editions of the tournament.
Barracuda Championship 2021
Sun, August 8 2021, 11:00 PM
Chilean golfer Mito Pereira (+2000), Thomas Pieters (+3300), and Puerto Rican Rafael Campos will each return from the Tokyo Olympics for the second-to-last week of the tour's regular season.
Pereira, a Korn Ferry Tour standout, tied for fourth at the Olympic competition, following a seven-man playoff for the bronze medal. Pieters tied for 16th, while Campos tied for 57th in the 60-player field.
Emiliano Grillo (+1800), Branden Grace (+2000), Brandt Snedeker (+2800), and 2013 Barracuda winner Gary Woodland (+2800) are also expected to contend in Truckee.
Old Greenwood course layout and relevant statistics
For the second time in tournament history, Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course will host the Barracuda Championship.
Located at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, the par-71, 7,425-yard Jack Nicklaus design features four par 3s between 187 and 230 yards, 11 par 4s (four shorter than 400 yards), and three par 5s, from 551 to 631 yards.
Large greens, rolling hills, soaring pine trees, and numerous bunkers fill the course, which should play fairly easy.
The goal is to go for broke at the Barracuda Championship, as the Stableford system incentivizes aggressive play.
Players are awarded eight points for an albatross, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie, but nothing for par. If a player bogeys, he'll lose one point, but at worst he will subtract three points, if he shoots two over par or higher on a hole.
Modified Stableford scoring system
|Points||Strokes taken in relation to par|
3 strokes under par (albatross)
2 strokes under par (eagle)
1 stroke under par (birdie)
1 stroke over par (bogey)
2 or more strokes over par
Best bets at 2021 Barracuda Championship
With birdies and eagles the name of the game, birdie or better percentage is a natural place to start, if you want to narrow down the best bets for the Barracuda Championship.
Strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approaching the green, greens in regulation percentage, and scrambling are a few more statistics to consider before you place a bet.
One player to eye for a win this weekend is Aaron Wise (+3300). The 25-year-old South African ranks in the top 50 on tour in birdie or better percentage, strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approaching the green, and 13th in greens in regulation percentage.
We’re getting ready for you. 🌾 #cudachamp pic.twitter.com/53ZilYegVV— Barracuda Championship (@CudaChamp) August 2, 2021
He also finished eighth, with 33 points on the board, at last year's Barracuda Championship, in its debut at Old Greenwood.
Another player who should rise up the leaderboard is Adam Schenk (+4000), who finished tied for 12th at last year's tournament.
Schenk ranks near the top 60 on tour in birdie or better percentage, strokes gained off the tee, scrambling, greens in regulation percentage, and bogey avoidance.
Before his 51st-place finish at the 3M Open in late July, he placed fourth at the John Deere Classic and 15th at the Barbasol Championship.
The 29-year-old has never won a PGA Tour event, which shouldn't dissuade you from backing him at Old Greenwood. The Barracuda Championship has been home to first-time tour winners in each of the past five iterations.
How to watch the 2021 Barracuda Championship
The winner of the 2021 Barracuda Championship will receive a share of the $3.5 million purse, plus 300 FedEx Cup points.
You can catch the action Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to noon ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. ET.