Modified Stableford returns to PGA Tour
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 Reno-Tahoe Open | Preview | 31 Jul 2012
This week’s alternate PGA Tour event, the Reno Tahoe Open, is to be played as a Modified Stableford event, the first time this format has been used since in a PGA Tour event since The International was last played at the Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Rock in Colorado in 2006.
With so many of the Tour’s leading players playing the WGC Bridgestone event in Ohio this week, the new format provides a point of difference in an endeavour to gain profile for the event.
Under this format 8 points are awarded for an albatross, 5 points are awarded for an eagle, two for a birdie, minus one for a bogey and minus three for a double bogey or worse. The format therefore is geared towards rewarding aggressive play.
The Jack Nicklaus designed Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno has played host to the event since 1999. Last year it was Nevada resident Scott Piercy who won by one over Pat Perez but with Piercy now in the WGC Bridgestone event this week , the favourite might well be the leading world ranked player in the field Padraig Harrington.
Harrington was perhaps a little disappointing at the Open Championship when considered by many to be a leading chance but his form prior to that event was building nicely and although he is playing the event for the first occasion he is too good of a player to not consider carefully.
Harrington’s purpose is two fold. He likes to play the week before a major championship and there is nothing in Europe this week and the event gives him another opportunity to impress Jose Maria Olazabal in terms of a Ryder Cup spot. He may already be the the forefront of Olazabal’s thinking but a good week this week will not hurt.
Pat Perez finished runner-up in the event last year and although he has not played the event often his near miss last year gives him hope. Perez withdrew from the recent John Deere Classic but his earlier form had been solid enough.
Stuart Appleby is normally playing elsewhere this week but his slump in the past couple of years has seen him slip well outside eligibility for the Bridgestone. Appleby did finish 18th in the event a few years ago in his only appearance and is beginning to put together a few good tournaments of late.
Alex Cejka may be one to keep an eye on. He has made eight of his last nine cuts on the PGA Tour against stronger fields than he faces this week. He has played this event well in the past, recording three top tens in six starts so may be worth consideration at what must surely be longer odds.
J.B. Holmes is another who has made a lot of cuts lately and appears close to returning to his winning ways. He has made a spectacular return from brain surgery and like Cejka is making a lot of cuts in recent times. It will be Holmes first start in this event but the signs are very good for a week in contention.
It is a bit hard to believe that Troy Matteson has not made the World Golf Championship field but having finished runner-up at the John Deere Classic and 10th last week at the Canadian Open then he enters this week’s event as one of the more likely chances. Matteson has made all three cuts in this event.
J.J. Henry has played this event well when he has played. He has three top tens in seven starts in this event and has done enough in recent events this season to be a chance against this field.
The Australians in the tournament other than Stuart Appleby are Steven Bowditch, Gavin Coles, Mathew Goggin, Nathan Green, Matt Jones, Nick O’Hern, Rod Pampling and Andre Stolz.
O’Hern played well in the tournament last year finishing 6th after an opening round of 65.
New Zealander Danny Lee is also in the field.
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