Best bets for the Barracuda Championship

July 19, 2023 02:05 PM

Best bets for the Barracuda Championship

Sweden's Vincent Norrman, a current PGA TOUR rookie, earned a full two-year TOUR exemption and his first TOUR victory last weekend in a playoff over Englishman Nathan Kimsey. In the process, Norrman cashed a 25/1 outright winner for this column (our 10th winner in 2023). He is back in this week's field at the Barracuda Championship with a price tag of 28/1. 

At the top of this market is German Stephan Jaeger (16/1), who has made 22 of 25 cuts this year on TOUR and comes in off finishes of 9th and 13th at the Rocket Mortgage and John Deere Classics. 

Keith Mitchell (20/1) is the highest-ranked player in this field with a ranking of 62 in the OWGR and has two Top 5s this year at Pebble Beach and at Riviera. Canadian Taylor Pendrith joins Mitchell at 20/1, and he finished T-6 last weekend at the Barbasol and had another Top 10 earlier this year (T-7) at Pebble Beach.

At 25/1 are a trio of players, including Beau Hossler, Patrick Rodgers, and Mark Hubbard, who finished 4th in this event last year. JJ Spaun (33/1) won the Valero Texas Open last year, which got him into all of the major championships in 2022, but that exemption has run out, and now he tries to earn his second PGA TOUR victory in the alternate event this week. Several players are grouped at 35/1, including last year's Barracuda winner Chez Reavie, Akshay Bhatia, Justin Suh, Sam Stevens, and Nicolas Lindheim.

The Event

The Barracuda Championship has been held in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area yearly since 1999 and started as the Reno-Tahoe Open before computer security and data storage company Barracuda Networks became the title sponsor in 2014.   It spent most years as an alternate event played opposite of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which is now the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. In 2022, it moves up in the schedule to be the alternate to the Open Championship. Like last week's Barbasol Championship, this is a co-sanctioned event with the PGA and DP World Tours. The alternate event winner does not earn a Masters Tournament invitation but does earn 24 OWGR points, 300 FedEx Cup points, a full two-year PGA Tour exemption and an entry into the PGA Championship.  Since 2012, this event has used the Modified Stableford scoring system, which was used prior at the International event in Colorado. 


Strokes in relation to Par


+8 points (3-under par)


+5 points (2-under par)


+2 points (1-under par)


+-0 points (Par)


-1 point (1-over par)

Double Bogey or worse

-3 points (2-over par or more)

The Course

Tahoe Mountain Club's Old Greenwood Course in Truckee, CA, plays host to the Barracuda Championship for the second time after many years at the Montreux Golf & Country Club. The track plays as a Par 71 of 7,480 yards; however, it is played at nearly 6,000 ft of altitude, so it will play closer to 6,800 yards or so. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus in 2004. Old Greenwood is a resort track that is a combination of mountain forests and desert. Water is in play on 6 holes and has 95 bunkers throughout the layout. The fairways and greens (5,300 sq ft average) are Bentgrass/Poa Annua, and the rough is Bluegrass cut to about 1.75". With a Modified Stableford scoring system in place, there's obviously a premium on making eagles and birdies, and the players are rewarded for doing so more than they are penalized for scores of bogey or worse. 

Recent History/Winners

2022: Chez Reavie 43; 40/1

2021: Erik Van Rooyen 50; 66/1

2020: Richy Werenski 39; 33/1

2019: Collin Morikawa 47; 10/1

2018: Andrew Putnam 47; 28/1

2017: Chris Stroud 44; 75/1*

2016: Greg Chalmers 43; 300/1

2015: J.J. Henry 47; 66/1**

2014: Geoff Ogilvy 49; 66/1

2013: Gary Woodland 44; 40/1

2012: J.J. Henry 43; 40/1

Playoff win over Greg Owen & Richy Werenski - *

Playoff win over Kyle Reifers - **

Note: The 2012-2019 tournaments were played at Montreux Golf Club. The Barracuda officially moved to Old Greenwood in 2020. 


Greyson Sigg 50/1 Caesars Sportsbook

Sigg has played solid golf of late with four straight made cuts, including two Top 20 finishes at the John Deere (13th) and Travelers (19th). He also finished 26th and 15th at the Barracuda in two starts.

MJ Daffue 66/1 BetRivers

Daffue has also made four straight cuts. He ranks sixth over the last 36 rounds for Strokes Gained Off the Tee and 9th for Strokes Gained Putting in this field. The South African is also used to playing on courses at altitude on the Sunshine Tour.

Rico Hoey 75/1 Boyd Sports

Hoey currently ranks second on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and is a cinch to earn his PGA TOUR card from that list. He ranks third in Total Driving, third in Birdie Average, and seventh for Scoring Average on the Korn Feery Tour.

Sean Crocker 90/1 Boyd Sports

Crocker, an American, plays predominantly overseas on the DP World Tour. He finished runner-up several weeks ago at the Scandinavian Mixed. A runner-up at the 2020 Dunhill Championship and a T-4 at the 2021 European Masters in Switzerland shows some comfort on courses with altitude. 

Ryo Hisatsune 100/1 SuperBook Sports

Hisatsune is just 20 years of age and already has three professional wins (all in 2021 on the Abema TV Tour, the equivalent of a Japan Challenge Tour). A runner-up to Cameron Smith last December at the Australian PGA, Hisatsune also has three Top 10s in his rookie season on the DP World Tour and has made seven of his last eight cuts. 

Marcus Kinhult 125/1 Caesars Sportsbook

Kinhult's one major tour win came back in 2019 on the DP World Tour at the Betfred British Masters. He is a bit of a "narrative street" play this week as he was there greenside last week to congratulate his fellow Swede Vincent Norrman on his first PGA TOUR win. Marcus was not the only Kinhult to do so as his sister Frida, who is Norrman's girlfriend, drove down to Kentucky from Ohio after she finished her final round at LPGA Tour's Dana Open early Sunday.

The Swede has a runner-up to his credit at the 2019 Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, an eighth having been second through 54 holes in the 2022 Magical Kenya Open and has made every cut in Switzerland at the European Masters, so he is well-versed in playing courses at altitude and on shorter, tree-lined courses.

Sebastian Soderberg 130/1 DraftKings

Soderberg continues the theme of Swedes that can play well here. He started the year with a second-place finish in Abu Dhabi, and though missing his four cuts following that, his form has been much more solid since. He’s recorded two further top 10s – in Italy and South Africa – and missed just three cuts in his last ten starts.

Soderberg is another player with good experience playing at altitude, having won the 2019 European Masters in Switzerland, defeating multiple players, including Rory McIlroy, in the playoff and also has a Top 5 at the Nedbank in South Africa.

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