Barracuda Championship notebook: Rhein Gibson records double-eagle on No. 18

RENO — The shot of the 18th annual Barracuda Championship belonged to Rhein Gibson.

Gibson recorded a double-eagle on No. 18 when his 8-iron from 176 yards found the bottom of the cup. It was his first double-eagle in tournament play, and it was the second one in tournament history.

The previous double eagle was recorded by Shiv Kapur in he second round of the 2010 tourney.

The shot was good for $100,000 to be donated to a charity of Gibson’s shot. Tournament sponsor Barracuda instituted the Barracuda Bonus this year.

“Well, I hadn’t had a birdie all day and just leaking oil, hitting good shots, not doing anything,” Gibson said. “I hit an unbelievable tee shot there, and had a wedge in from — what were we — 140? 175 yards.

“It (the drive) went a long way. I thought if I could have a chance, maybe a five-pointer, try to hit a wedge in close. It landed good and the second letter disappeared. I saw it go in. The crowd went pretty bonkers. What a way to lift my spirits because it was a battle today.”

EX-MLB STAR CADDIES: Sacramento has always been regarded as a good baseball community, and one of its best players was at this week’s tournament.

Greg Vaughn, who played with five teams in his 15-year career, was on the bag for Elk Grove’s Spencer Levin, who finished the event with 14 points.

Vaughn, who turned 51 on Saturday, said it was the first time he’d caddied for Levin.

“I took lesson from his dad (Don Levin),” Vaughn said after trudging up the hill from the 18th green. “Spencer has always been like a little brother to me. We talk all the time, and I told him if he needs me to go other places I will.”

Levin’s regular caddie, John Turcott, was with family in Wisconsin and needed to take the week off.

“I was going to have a buddy do it, but I decided to ask Greg,” Levin said. “He comes up to watch me (here) all the time. He’s going to caddy again when I plays in the (in the fall).”

Vaughn finished his career with 355 homers and 1072 RBI with a .242 batting average. His best season was 1998 when he hit 50 homers, drove in 119 runs and batted .272.

HOLE REPORT: The toughest hole on Sunday was No. 1, which played to a 4.338 average, yielding just five birdies all day. The easiest hole was No. 18, which played to a 4.465, yielding seven of the day’s nine eagles, and 33 birdies.

The course played to a 72.056 thanks mostly to the greens drying out and windy conditions.

RABBIT HONORS: Because there was an odd number of qualifiers, a single player has gone out ahead of the field Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday it was Hunter Stewart, who played his first five holes in 51 minutes. He finished in 3-hours 5-minutes.

LASER OPERATOR UPDATE: The woman who was hit at No. 6 on Saturday with Robert Garrigus’ errant tee shot is home and recovering nicely. According to reports, Garrigus gave her an autographed golf glove.


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