British Open spot on offer in uniquely scored event

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LOS ANGELES: A berth in the British Open is available at this week’s US PGA Barracuda Championship, an unusual event featuring the Modified Stableford scoring system and a field without top-ranked stars.

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The 7,472-yard Montreux layout in Reno, Nevada, features seven lakes and four waterfalls in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains.

But its date on this year’s Olympic-compressed calendar puts it opposite the World Golf Champion-ships tournament in Akron, Ohio, where most of the world’s top-ranked players are competing. As a result, 63rd-rated American Patton Kizzire is the highest-ranked player in the field.

Because next week’s scheduled Greenbrier Classic was called off due to torrential flooding near the host course in West Virginia, the British Open spot that would have been up for grabs there is instead at stake in Reno.

The top player not already qualified for the British Open among the top five finishers at the tourna-ment will book himself a place at Royal Troon for the third major of the year starting July 14.

Instead of a score related to par, players this week will receive five points for an eagle, two for each birdie, zero for pars, minus-one for bogeys and minus-three for double bogeys.

John Daly is among four former major winners in the field, a group that also includes Australian Geoff Ogilvy, a former winner at Montreux.

American J.J. Henry is the defending champion, sinking a 15-foot eagle putt on last year’s first playoff hole to defeat compatriot Kyle Reifers.

Former world amateur number one Jon Rahm, a 21-year-old Spaniard who made his pro debut last week and led after 18 and 36 holes, is also in the field.

AFP

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