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Modified Stableford returns at Reno-Tahoe Open

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This week’s Reno-Tahoe Open will employ the modified Stableford scoring system, the first times since 2006 the points-based format has been used on the PGA Tour.

The modified Stableford system differs from standard stroke play in that points are awarded based on a player’s score on each hole. The player with the most points at tournament’s end is the champion.

The system also differs from normal Stableford scoring, because it deducts points for poor play. In the modified system, eight points are awarded for a double eagle; five for an eagle; two for a birdie; zero for a par; minus-one for a bogey and minus-three for a double bogey or worse.

The International (1986-2006) was the last Tour event to use the points system. It is in effect this week at the Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nev., to give the tournament character as it is an opposite-field event, contested alongside the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

'The PGA Tour believes there is merit to this format for Reno,' Andy Pazder, Tour vice president and chief of operations, said in a statement. 'The (m)odified Stableford system not only promotes aggressive play, which the tournament is already known for, but Montreux lends itself well to this exciting format with its series of challenging finishing holes.'

The volatility – and excitement – provided by the system was encapsulated in the 2002 International. Rich Beem held a nine-point lead after making eagle on the par-5 17th at Castle Pines in Castle Rock, Colo., but Steve Lowery made double eagle on the hole to slice the advantage to one. Lowery also made an eagle and a birdie over his final five holes, but a par on the 18th left him one point shy of Beem.