British Open first alternate Alex Noren, who skipped St. Andrews, is in contention at Barracuda Championship

British Open first alternate Alex Noren, who skipped St. Andrews, is in contention at Barracuda Championship

TRUCKEE, California — Chez Reavie continues to tear down the golf course, and Alex Noreen has some extra encouragement this week.

Reevy leads the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship with a plus-37 points at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course, where they are using the modified Stableford scoring system.

Martin Laird is in second place with a plus-31 and Noreen is tied with Cam Davis, both with plus-28 points.

But Noreen was very close to playing in the year’s final men’s major, the British Open in St Andrews.

Noreen was the first substitute for the British Open, but decided to move to California to play at Barracuda.

“I didn’t think anyone would take back,” Noreen said on Friday. “He really did, and that’s sad for him, but I wanted to play it too.”

When Justin Rose withdrew from the Open, it opened up a space that would have gone to Noreen. Instead that place went to Rikuya Hoshino. Eric van Rooyen, who won Barracuda in 2021 to secure a spot in the 2022 Open Championship, also withdrew before the Open began.

“I wanted to score a few more points. After that I’ve had three weeks of training before [FexEx Cup] Playoffs, and I wanted to play this week, and that mindset may have given me a little less patience that I needed this time. Golf is a long career, and I’ve played a lot of British Opens, and I would love to play it again.

Noreen tried to forget what could have happened and went to work at Old Greenwood, posting a score of plus-28 points through three rounds.

He admits that it is difficult to avoid the British Open, as it is everywhere on TV where he goes around the truckie.

He said the controversy at Barracuda somewhat eased the pain of missing The Open.

“Every time they show ‘The Open’ on TV, I get frustrated, but I love being here. I think it’s one of the best courses on the Tour and a great tournament to play. I have a lot of fun,” Noreen said.

Noreen, 40, is ranked 66th in the world, 75th in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Meanwhile, Revi made his first bogey of Barracuda at number 15 on Saturday, followed by five birdies in the third round. He said he expects to feel some nervousness on Sunday while he waits for his afternoon tee time.

“I have to spend an hour or two at home to calm myself down because I’m looking forward to getting out here and competing,” Revi said. “If I get too excited I can come out of here and try harder.”

Reevy, who plays golf in the state of Arizona, is one of only two PGA Tour golfers at that school who, along with Jon Rahm, have not participated in the LIV Tour. Fellow former ASU golfers Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Pat Perez and Matt Jones have all jumped to LIV.

big leap

Michael Thompson scored nine birdies and nine passes on Saturday and scored a total of 18 points. He has plus-26 points in Sunday’s final round.

Joshua Krell had two eagles on Saturday, on holes 8 and 16, and scored 11 points that day. He has plus-26 points from three rounds.

Harry Higgs also scored 11 points on Saturday, thanks to three birdies and an eagle. He has plus-26 points on Sunday. Higgs said it’s better for him if he can avoid the chipping.

“I’ve had a lot of good iron shots and some kind of bonus put. On the first day I hit a few balls in the spot where I had to chip out,” Higgs said. “But this format is kind of fun. You can avoid it somehow.”

He enjoys the feeling of smashing the ball on his tee shots and watching it fly farther than most golf courses he has played.

“It’s fun when it gets into the fairway as well; you can go a long, long way here, bounce and roll and fly a little further with altitude,” Higgs said.

Higgs said he hasn’t played well this season and is too worried about little things going wrong.

“I just haven’t been fast, haven’t been playing good golf, I’m not going to play like me,” he said. “My attitude has been terrible. I’ve been peeing and moaning about little things that go wrong and then he builds and builds and builds. I’ve been playing at the cut line too much all year. I see myself only as better than her. But obviously there comes a time when talk is cheap and now you have to show it, yourself even more.

scoring

The Barracuda Championship is using the modified Stableford scoring format, the first PGA Tour event to use the format since the International in 2006. Players are allocated points based on the number of strokes taken on each hole, with the goal of achieving the highest overall score.

Albatross +8, Eagle +5, Birdie +2, Par 0, Bogie -1, Double bogey or worse -3.

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