(Reuters) – Britain’s Martin Laird birdied his final hole to record 15 points and a slim lead on Thursday at the Barracuda Championship, which uses a modified Stableford scoring system.
In the system, eagles are worth five points and birdies are worth two. Pars net zero points, bogeys are minus one and a double bogey or worse is minus three off a golfer’s score.
Laird got to his total with a birdie on the par-five 18th where he made a putt just outside of five feet. A three-time PGA winner, he his looking for his first triumph since 2013.
Gary Woodland, who won the tournament in 2013, Greg Chalmers and Camilo Villegas are all at 14 points while a group of four are at 13.
Woodland sparked his round with an eagle on the par-five eighth that catapulted him up the leaderboard.
“An eagle in this format, you really jump up that board,” Woodland told reporters. “It was nice to make one and then follow that up with birdies on four of the next five (holes).”
Villegas played alongside Woodland and made seven birdies in his bogey free round and the Colombian said he enjoyed playing under the modified scoring system.
“It frees you up a little bit. You get a little more aggressive,” Villegas said. “All in all it was a great day out there.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)