Chris Stroud breaks through at Montreux in 290th career start
The Barracuda Championship at Montreux Golf and Country Club is becoming a tournament of opportunity.
Last year, it was Greg Chalmers finally celebrating a first-place finish in his 386th career start. On Sunday, it was Chris Stroud overcoming multiple weather delays and a three-person playoff to finally make it happen in his 290th event.
Stroud, 35, entered the day in 22nd place and got into the playoff with an incredible 8-under round of 64, good for 20 points in the tournament’s Modified Stableford Scoring format. It was two points shy of the tournament record for best single round.
He finished Sunday with an eagle at the par-5 18th then had to wait several hours to discover he would be in the playoff with Richy Werenski and Greg Owen. Both were also searching for their first victory on tour. The trio trekked back to the 18th tee and Owen was eliminated on the first run through the hole, then Stroud sealed it with a birdie on the second time playing the 18th.
It was the fifth time in the tournament’s 19-year history that more than 72 holes were needed to decide a winner. The last playoff came in 2015, when J.J. Henry topped Kyle Reifers on the 74th hole.
Despite Sunday bringing Stroud his first title, it wasn’t his first time in a playoff. He went head-to-head with Ken Duke in the 2013 Travelers Championship. Slimming Stroud’s already small probability of a win, he had not previously played well at the course in south Reno. He missed the cut in all three previous appearances at the Barracuda Championship (2007, 2009 and 2016).
Along with sealing a tee time in the PGA Championship next week in Charlotte, North Carolina – his first time qualifying for a major since the 2014 PGA Championship – Stroud also earned a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
Owen entered Sunday with a five-point lead (37 points) over Derek Fathauer and Stuart Appleby, but became the first player since 2010 to have the lead after three days at the Barracuda Championship and not hoist the trophy on Sunday. Owes lost in the playoff, Appleby ended a fourth-place tie, and Fathauer finished in a tie for sixth.
Chalmers finished in a tie for 18th place with 32 points. It is his best finish of the season and the best finish of a past champion.
Cody Blick qualified for the tournament by winning the Reno-Tahoe Open at Washoe Golf Course in May and lived to see the weekend. He ended the weekend in a tie for 61st place with 19 points.
It was also a weekend of aces at Montreux with four different golfers sinking a hole in one. Only nine aces were recorded in the tournament’s previous 18 years. The four tee-shot finishes are the most in a tournament on the PGA Tour this season.
Seamus Power took home the Barracuda Bonus, a $50,000 charitable donation given in the name of the player who collected the most points on the par-5 18th hole over the course of the four competitive rounds. One-half of the $50,000 will go to charity or charities in the Reno-Tahoe area while the other $25,000 will go to a charity of the player’s choice.