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Brian Good breaks down which matchups he likes in Round 1 of the Barracuda Championship for his 3-ball picks
ANALYSIS

Barracuda Championship Picks: Thursday’s 3-Ball Predictions & Picks

We’ve got plenty of coverage and picks from the WGC FeEx St. Jude Invitational, but there is another PGA Tour event this weekend that doesn’t have the star power of the WGC but still has plenty of opportunity to turn a profit. That’s the Barracuda Championship.

Barracuda Championship picks are unique because the Barracuda Championship is the only tournament on Tour that uses Modified Stableford scoring to decide a winner.

Modified Stableford scoring means that a point value is assigned to each outcome of a hole, based on how many strokes you record related to par on that hole. So, how you perform on a given hole in Modified Stableford scoring is recorded the following way.

Double Eagle: 8 points

Eagle: 5 Points

Birdie: 2 points

Par: 0 points

Bogey: -1 point

Double Bogey or More: -3 points

The cut off for -3 points being the most you can lose on a hole lets golfer take tons of risk on the course and not have to worry about shooting a massive number, because once you reach 2-over par on a hole, you just pick up your ball and move on as you’ve already reached the scoring floor.

Doing well at the Barracuda Championship requires shot-making ability and some experience in this style of play. So, let’s take a look at my Barracuda Championship picks

Barracuda Championship Picks: Round 1 Three-Ball Picks

Gary Woodland to beat Brandt Snedeker, Joel Dahmen @ +136

I stayed away from Woodland because he was too pubby of a pick for me to get behind this week. It seems like everyone and their mother was shouting about him being +3300 to win it this week and he got slashed all the way down to +2000 by Tuesday. But, I do like taking him here at plus odds against Snedeker and Dahmen.

Admittedly, this is a tough group with three strong golfers, but Woodland has the experience here. Gary Woodland has competed at the Barracuda Championship twice and his average finishing position is 1.5. He has a win and a second-place finish in the two times he’s played this tournament.

Woodland is fresh off a T11 at the 3M Open and while he may not come out at lead after the first round I like him here.

Thomas Pieters to beat Mito Pereira, Rafael Campos @ +155

I am fully banking on the fact that Thomas Pieters is an atrocious putter not mattering due to the style of play changing for Modified Stableford. Like I said, you need to make shots and take chances in this event, something I know Pieters can do.

How bad is he at putting? If he qualified for SG: Putting, he would be second to last on the entire Tour. But, he’s also be a top-20 player on Tour in SG: Approach if he qualified. Pieters can do it all (except putt) but in the seven events he’s played this year, he’s finished top-25 in five of them and top-15 in three. Not to mention a T16 at the Olympics. I love his style of play for this event.

Maverick McNealy to beat Patrick Rodgers, Kyle Stanley @ +136

Maverick McNealy is the favorite to win the Barracuda Championship at +1800. I put him in the same category as Gary Woodland in this event as golfers with a real chance to win it. But, unlike Woodland, he isn’t playing in that strong of a group on Thursday.

Kyle Stanley, while a solid golfer, hasn’t finished inside the top 40 in two and a half months, Meanwhile, Maverick McNealy has three top-20 finishes in that same time span, including a T16 at the 3M Open. McNealy bombed out of the PGA Championship, but has played strong in opening rounds since then.

If I’m worried about a golfer here it’s Rodgers. He was playing really poorly early in the season but recently turned it around. Still, I can get the tournament favorite at plus odds here. I’m in.

Barracuda Championship Picks

Gary Woodland to beat Brandt Snedeker, Joel Dahmen @ +136

Thomas Pieters to beat Mito Pereira, Rafael Campos @ +155

Maverick McNealy to beat Patrick Rodgers, Kyle Stanley @ +136

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Brian is a sports journalist with close to ten years of experience in the business. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan with a passion for all things sports gambling.

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