Golf: Atwal tied 38th after first round of Barracuda Championship

Indian golfer Arjun Atwal landed four birdies but also gave away two bogeys to score six points in the opening round of the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA Tour event to use the Modified Stable format scoring system.

Atwal, playing his second straight week after 3M Open last week, is lying Tied-38th, while Daniel Chopra is T-50 with four points that had four birdies and four bogeys. American-Indian Sahith Theegala is T-31st with seven points made up of four birdies and one bogey.

Atwal birdied fourth, seventh, 12th and 16th holes and dropped shots and points on ninth and 13th.

In modified stable format, players are allocated two points for birdies and penalised with a minus one for a bogey and minus three for a double bogey. An albatross fetches eight points, while an eagle is rewarded with five.

“I felt I had a good start and should have made more putts. Even though this is a new course (after 21 years) for the event, I used to like the old one (in Montreux, Nevada). But the course played nice and fair,” Atwal said.

On playing a second straight week, the Indian said, “The health was good, did not feel tiredness and the back is holding up., I thought I might be stiff in the morning, when it was really cold, but my warm-up was really nice.

“Obviously the premium is on getting birdies and more, so it is aggressive golf. It is an interesting format.”

At the top, Ryan Moore carded a bogey-free round in his first Barracuda Championship start since 2008, while Adam Schenk joined him for his first lead or shared lead after any round on the PGA TOUR.

Both have 14 points each, while three players — Robert Streb, Seamus Power and Patrick Rodgers — are tied third at 11 each.

Both Moore and Schenk had 14-point rounds with seven birdies and no bogeys in high altitude on the Old Greenwood Course, the first-time venue after 21 years across the border in Nevada at Montreux Golf Club.

The winner will earn a spot in the PGA Championship next week, if not already eligible. The top two from the top 10, not already eligible, will get spots in the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot.

The 2019 winner, Collin Morikawa, who also won the Workday Charity Open recently, is not in the field, as he has qualified for the WGC-St. Jude Invitational.

The Barracuda Championship uses the Modified Stableford scoring format since The International in 2006. Players are allocated points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole with the goal of achieving the highest overall score.