Baddeley takes lead at Barracuda Championship
RENO — Coming into the Barracuda Championship, Aaron Baddeley sat at 135th on the FedEx Cup points list.
The Australian is well on his way to clinching his spot inside the Top 125 on the standings after taking the lead at Reno’s Montreux Golf and Country Club in Friday’s second round.
Baddeley sits at 26 points in the Modified Stableford format tournament.
“It’s a tough day today,” Baddeley said. “The wind was really gusting and gusting in different directions. You really had to wait until it was your turn to hit, pick a club. Because it could be 15 downwind, switch and be 15 straight in to you. It was just crazy.”
He finished the first round in second place (14 points) behind Ollie Schniederjans, who had 17 points on Thursday. Baddeley, who with a win is projected to be 74th in FedEx Cup points, had 12 points on Friday behind 7 birdies. He didn’t card a bogey. The 37-year-old Australian won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2016.
“My game’s been pretty good,” Baddeley said. “I haven’t capitalized with the putter and just been working really hard on that. Been hitting the ball pretty solid this week. I’m hitting the ball well and making a few extra putts, which has been nice.”
Schniederjans is in second after an 8-point day — after losing three-points for a triple bogey on the seventh hole.
“It’s frustrating,” Schniederjans said. “But everyone else who is out there this afternoon is dealing with it. Cost me big time on 7. I hit it and it went straight down to the left.”
Andrew Putnam put together the best round of the day. He jumped up to third, gaining 40 spots. Putnam scored 17 points, 11 on his last seven holes with an eagle on the par-5 13th and four birdies. He hit a 213-yard approach to a yard to set up the eagle.
“Shot, I think, 30,” Putnam said. “That eagle was big.”
Putnam has company in third, tied with Sam Saunders and John Merrick.
Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, had a 13-point day with seven birdies and a bogey.
“It was a good solid day out there,” Saunders said. “Drove the ball really well and made a few more putts today than I did yesterday. Still left a few out there. But it’s a fun format and enjoy giving myself as many birdie chances as possible.”
Baddeley is getting it done with the putter; he is first in the field in strokes gained putting.
Hudson Swafford and Shane Lowry had 22 points. Swafford picked up 10 points in the second round, and Lowry added 12. Swafford holed out from 123 yards for eagle on the par-4 14th.
“I hit a great little wedge shot, landed short of the pin, shot past and spun,” Swafford said. “I told it to disappear and it disappeared. Five points is definitely nice in this format.”
The winner will earn a spot in the PGA Championship next week at Bellerive, if not already eligible, and $612,000.
Television coverage is set for 3-6 p.m. today and Sunday on the Golf Channel.
The tournament uses the modified Stableford scoring format, with 8 points for an albatross, 5 points for an eagle, 2 points for a birdie and zero points for a par. One point is subtracted for a bogey, and 3 points are subtracted for a double bogey or worse.
For information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.BarracudaChampionship.com. Public parking is at Galena High School. Shuttles will run from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.