Werenski's strategy paying off at Barracuda
RENO, Nevada — News and notes from Friday’s second round of the Barracuda Championship, with Richy Werenski leading Stuart Appleby by 2 points in the Modified Stableford event. LATE LEAD CHANGE Richy Werenski, in his first year on the PGA TOUR, made an eagle on No. 18 for 5 points to vault into the Barraduca Championship lead. After a 1 hour, 17 minute weather delay, Werenski went back on the course to complete his late run. He made three birdies and an eagle over his final six holes Friday. It was getting dark as Werenski eyed his 6-foot, 3-inch putt for a closing eagle. This is the first time he’s held a 36-hole lead on the PGA TOUR. Werenski went through a string of five missed cuts earlier this season, but he has found his groove recently. He said the plan was to be aggressive and go for eagles at Montreux. “Everybody knows eagles are huge out here this week,” he said. “I’m starting to feel comfortable out here.” This is his first time to visit Northern Nevada. The cut was at 10 points. AWESOME AUSSIE A year after Australian Greg Chalmers picked up his first win on the PGA TOUR, another Aussie is in contention at the Barracuda Championship. Stuart Appleby picked up 10 points Friday in the second round, to go with his 14 from Thursday for a two-day total of 24. Appleby, who has nine victories on the PGA TOUR, but none since 2010, had not made a cut at Montreux in his two most recent trips (2014 and 2016), but he did make it to the weekend three times before that. He said there are no courses comparable to Montreux in Australia. He had an Australian term for the course, calling it a “hard yakka,” which means hard work. “I’m starting to make some birdies and I’m rolling it nice. I’m reading it nice,” Appleby said. “I’ve just got to see if I can keep the ball in the middle of the clubface and grab the right clubs often enough and see if I can grab 20 points or something over the weekend.” He suffered a back injury in 2015, but said it is getting better now. His T25 showing at last month’s John Deere Classic ended a streak of nine consecutive missed cuts. “That’s the thing I’ve found hard is being able to repeat; a couple of good shots or a couple of good holes and then I throw in an awful shot, so that kind of knocks a lot of wind out of your sails,” Appleby said. “You make cuts, you feel like you’re developing, you feel like you participated in a golf event and you’ve got something you can build on, and I really hadn’t done that. So John Deere was nice.” In 2010, during the final round of the inaugural Greenbrier Classic, Appleby became the fifth player in history to shoot a 59 in an official PGA TOUR event. Appleby won the 2010 PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year award. CONTENDERS ENJOYING THE FORMAT Greg Owen is tied for third place with 23 points with Luke List, Dicky Pride and Ben Martin. Owen hit 13 of 14 fairways Friday. He said the mountain course at Montreux can be a little tricky, although this is his fifth time playing there. “The only dropped shots I’ve had really have been three-putts because it’s difficult with us being on the side of a mountain, it’s very deceiving with your eyes whether you’re uphill, downhill. The speeds are very difficult to judge,” Owen said. He finished 20th last year, making an eagle on his last hole Friday to make the cut. List enjoys the Modified Stableford scoring, which encourages aggressive play. “I’m going to try to play aggressive the whole way through, hit a lot of drivers where a lot of guys are hitting irons, and I’m just going to try to take advantage of my length on a few holes, and for me it’s tough doing some of the numbers with the math and everything with the elevation, but just trying to do the best I can with that, stay patient, and just try to be aggressive on the weekend,” List said. WI BELIEVE Former Nevada golfer Charlie Wi had a solid second round, scoring 8 points and making the cut with 16 total. He is semi-retired from the PGA TOUR now, and said that has helped him relax on the course. I’ve had good finishes here, but for some reason, this course is really tricky for me,” Wi said. “I was pressing before I made some dumb mistakes. I feel less pressure on myself.” WEATHER DELAY Play was suspended for 1 hours 17 minutes by lightning in the area. It also rained slightly at Montreux. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday also, about a 40 percent chance predicted to hit the area about 3 p.m. But golfers will start on No. 1, at 7 a.m. local. The final pairing will tee off at 2:40 p.m. NOTES • Kyle Reifers, who lost in a playoff in the Barracuda to JJ Henry in 2015, and has a sister who lives in Reno, made the cut with 11 points. • Ricky Barnes, who is married to former Nevada volleyball standout Suzanne Stonebarger and lives in Truckee, has 16 points. • Two-time Barracuda champion JJ Henry missed the cut with 9 points. • Davis Love III made the cut with 16 points, while his son Dru improved Friday, but missed the cut with 6 points. • Padraig Harrington missed the cut with 4 points, as did Geoff Ogilvy with 2. Retief Goosen also finished with 2 points. • Eight players have made the Barracuda Championship their first PGA TOUR victory in the 18-year history of the event: Notah Begay III (1999), Chris Riley (2002), Vaughn Taylor (2004), Will MacKenzie (2006), Parker McLachlin (2008), Matt Bettencourt (2009), Scott Piercy (2011) and Greg Chalmers (2016). BARRACUDA BONUS Three golfers are tied for the most points on hole No. 18 at Montreux with 7 each -- Ben Martin, Harris English and Daniel Summerhays. Graham DeLaet has 5 points on No. 18 and 30 golfers are tied with 4 points. Whoever scores the most points on No. 18 this week earns a $50,000 bonus for the charity of his choice. The Barracuda Bonus is a $50,000 charitable donation given in the name of the player who collects the most Modified Stableford points on the par-5 18th hole over the course of the four competitive rounds.
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