Watney holds first-round lead at Barracuda Championship
Reno, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Watney had a bogey-free first round and he holds a 2-point lead using the Modified Stableford scoring system at the Barracuda Championship.
Watney, who carded nine birdies on Thursday en route to 18 points, is looking for his sixth career victory on the PGA Tour. His last win came at The Barclays back in 2012.
"I'm very pleased with the way I played today, and this is pretty close to home," Watney said. "So it's nice to see a lot of friends and family. And I'm enjoying myself so far. And hope it continues like this."
Geoff Ogilvy and Tim Wilkinson are both tied for second at 16 points, while Martin Laird and Chad Campbell are tied for fourth at 13, five points back of Watney at Montreux Golf and Country Club.
There is a four-way tie for sixth between Kevin Chappell, John Huh, John Rollins and Wes Roach at 12 points.
Scoring in the Modified Stableford system rewards eight points for a double- eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and zero points for a par. A player loses one point for a bogey and two points for a double-bogey or worse.
Watney started his day on a strong note. After a par on the first hole, he drained his first birdie of the day to give him his first two points of the event. After another par at No. 3, Watney made his second birdie at No. 4 to move to four points.
The 33-year-old closed out his front nine with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine as he made the turn with eight points.
Watney made it three birdies in a row with another gain at No. 10. Following two pars, Watney poured in three straight birdies from No. 13, vaulting him to 16 points on the day. He closed his bogey-free round out with pars at 16 and 17 followed by his ninth birdie at No. 18.
"I played really well today. When I did miss a couple of greens, I missed a few greens early and chipped to within tap-ins and hit some really nice wedges. But that was the result of good driving," Watney said. "So I played really well. I feel like this has been kind of building for a while, and the thing that's been missing is the putting, and I putted great today. So I'm very happy and looking forward to the next three days."
Ogilvy, a seven-time PGA Tour winner who has not won since the 2010 SBS Championship, also had a bogey-free round. Starting the day on the back nine, Ogilvy made three straight birdies from No. 13 and added one more gain at No. 18 to put him at eight points for the day.
Making the turn, Ogilvy made it back-to-back birdies with a gain at No. 1. He added birdies at five, eight and nine to put him two shots back at 16 points.
Wilkinson had a strong day with just a couple of blemishes. After a bogey at No. 2, Wilkinson made three straight birdies from No. 3 followed by a bogey at No. 6. He got that shot back with a birdie at eight to put him at six points.
Wilkinson did a lot of his damage on the back nine, making five straight birdies from No. 10 to put him at 16 points. He parred the final four holes to finish there.
NOTES: Watney's 18 points ties a single-day tournament record, which was set last year by Jonathan Byrd in the fourth round ... This is Watney's fifth start at this event, with the last one coming in 2008 ... The first-round leader at this event has gone on to win four out of 15 times.
07/31 22:17:05 ET