RENO—J.J. Henry likes Montreux Golf Course.
The 40-year-old won the Barracuda Championship, formerly known as the Reno-Tahoe Open, for the second time since 2012, on Sunday in a playoff over Kyle Reifers. It was just his third PGA Tour title.
“I love it (here),” Henry said. “I might have to buy a house here someday. This place is great to me. I just love coming here and knock on wood, this place loves me. It’s a great feeling.”
After Henry and Reifers both birdied the 18th hole in the first playoff, Henry sunk a 15-foot eagle putt from three feet off the green to essentially win the title. Reifers’ 10-foot eagle putt missed inches wide, handing the championship to Henry.
“I guess when it’s your day, it’s your day,” Henry said of the tournament-winning eagle putt. “I was just trying to kind of put a good stroke on it.”
It appeared Henry won the title on the first playoff but Reifers, who made a furious rally on Sunday with a tournament record +22 in the Modified Stableford Scoring format, sunk a 12-footer to force a second playoff hole.
He had an almost identical putt for eagle on the second playoff but was unable to connect again.
“I had made a couple similar putts like that in other tournaments and I was reminding myself of that and I hit it right where I wanted but it just didn’t go in,” Reifers said. “I know obviously how much a win would mean so it’s disappointing but I hit the shots and putts I wanted to.
“At the beginning of the day if you would’ve said I’d be sitting here right now, I would’ve obviously taken it.”
Reifers started the day in 22nd place at +25, 16 points behind Henry. He eagled three of the last six holes to put the pressure on Henry, who was five points back with six holes to play. Henry missed a 12-foot eagle putt on the last regulation hole of the day that would’ve won the title but sunk the tap in birdie to force a 73rd and eventually 74th hole.
Both golfers finished the 72 holes with a score of +47.
In the Modified Stableford Scoring format, double eagles are awarded with eight points, eagles are worth five, birdies count for two, pars don’t result in a score change, bogeys subtract a point from the golfer’s score and double bogeys or worse take away three points.
With the win in the 17th running of the event, Henry earned a $558,000 payday, approximately $200,000 more than Reifers. The total purse for the tournament was $3.1 million.
Henry said it was easy to distinguish the two titles.
“It’s different because I feel like I’m at a little different place in my life,” he said. “I’ve played out here with a lot of experience and now my third win. My two boys now that are home are 11 and 7 next week, I’m sure they were watching. To see what daddy does now, I’m sure they were screaming at yelling at the TV. I’m just feeling fortunate right now.”
Montreux Golf Course is rated the sixth most difficult course among all PGA Tour events.
Geoff Ogilvy won the event last year but did not play nearly as will in 2015, missing the cut.
2. Kyle Reifers +47
3. Patrick Rodgers +46
4. Andres Gonzales +43
5. David Toms +42
6. Retief Goosen +41
T20. Zack Sucher +32
T34. K.J. Choi +28
T53. Trevor Immelman +23
MC John Daly +7
MC Luke Guthrie +6
MC Geoff Ogilvy +6
MC Scott Verplank E
MC David Duval -3
Nathan has covered local sports for The Daily Sparks Tribune since September 2013. Follow him on Twitter: @Trib_Shoup.