Barracuda Notebook: McLuen, Spaun record aces in first round
RENO – For the third time in Barracuda Championship history, two holes-in-one were recorded on the same day.
Jay McLuen recorded the first-ever ace on No. 11, and later in the afternoon, J.J. Spaun won a two-year lease on a Lexus after recording an ace on No. 16.
In 2002, Pat Perez and Tom Byrum scored second-round aces, and in 2006 Yusaki Miyzato recorded two aces in the same round.
McLuen used a wedge to record the ninth ace in tournament history. The ace was the first since 2008 when Omar Uresti aced No. 16. Spaun used a 6-iron to record the tournament’s 10th ace.
“No, I couldn’t remember how many I’ve had,” McLuen said. “It was my third in tournaments, but I don’t know how many I’ve had. Maybe seven, maybe eight now. It was pretty cool.
“I think it was just a little right to left, and my caddie said you’ve got plenty of room right. It was just a perfect pitching wedge and hit it good. It was right at the flag. I saw it bounce but couldn’t see it go in. But I saw the crowd kind of stand up, started yelling when it went in. I didn’t get the truck, though. The truck was yesterday, I think.”
McLuen played well in the first round here last year, but shot 3-over-par 75s and missed the third-round cut and tied for 76th.
“Last year I was tied for second after the first round too here, but let off the gas a little bit,” he said. “There’s a different formula this year to kind of stay up there, but it’s supposed to get windy and stuff like that tomorrow afternoon. So it’s a good start again. Can’t ask for much more.”
Spaun said his shot landed between 10 and 15 feet from the hole.
“The pin was probably the most accessible location on the green,” he said. “I put a really solid swing on it. Contact was good. It started about 5 yards left and just started falling right at the hole.
“We freaked out. I didn’t even know I won a car until Alan said you get that car over there sitting on the front of the hole. Awesome bonus. Making a hole in one is pretty special. Adding a nice little prize makes it that much sweeter.”
THE HOLE REPORT
The two toughest holes in Thursday’s first round were the par-3 16th (3.231) and the par-3 3rd that played to a 3.218.
The easiest holes were the par-3 9th (3.644) and the par-5 13th (4.632).
DREAM COME TRUE
Sam Stagno, 12, was given the VIP treatment at the Barracuda Championship on Thursday.
Stagno was diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013. The junior golfer from the Fresno area had a meet and greet with the professional golfers, lunch and got to act as an honorary observer.
Tournament officials brought him into the interview room, and he answered several questions.
“Either this or meeting the pros,” Stagno said when asked what had been his favorite thing of the day. “Probably meeting the pros. Not every kid gets to do that.”
EARLY WEATHER REPORT
There is a 40 percent chance of rain today with temperatures ranging from a low of 65 to a high of 91.
On Saturday, afternoon thunderstorms are in the forecast.