Los Angeles - Ollie Schniederjans eagled the closing hole on Thursday to take a three-point lead in the PGA Tour Barracuda Championship in Nevada, played using the Modified Stableford scoring system.
Schniederjans landed his five-iron three feet from the pin to set up the eagle on the par-five finishing hole at Montreaux Golf and Country Club in Reno.
The eagle was especially valuable in the uniquely scored event, which rather than counting strokes awards points: eight for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie, zero for par, minus one for a bogey and minus three for double bogey or worse.
"Eagles are huge in this format," Schniederjans said. "So, it's a little more nerve-wracking, three-footer being three more points. It's interesting you have putts that are worth more than others."
Schniederjans, who made six birdies, finished the first round on 17 points, three more than Australian Aaron Baddeley and American Denny McCarthy.
American Robert Streb was alone on 13 points.
McCarthy was tied for the lead with one hole remaining, but he a double-bogey at his finishing hole, the par-four ninth, cost him three points.
The winner of the tournament - played opposite the elite World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio - will earn a spot in next week's PGA Championship at Bellerive if not already qualified.
Leading point totals after Thursday's first round of the PGA Barracuda Championship, which uses a Modified Stableford scoring system that awards eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie, zero for par, minus one for a bogey and minus three for any worse score; USA unless noted):
17 - Ollie Schniederjans
14 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) Denny McCarthy
13 - Robert Streb
12 - Ryan Palmer, Hudson Swafford
11 - John Merrick, Tyrone Van Aswegen (RSA), Ben Silverman (CAN)
10 - Michael Thompson, Alex Cejka (GER), Stephan Jaeger (GER), Tom Lovelady, Matt Jones (AUS), Shane Lowry (IRL), Sam Saunders, Charlie Beljan, Dylan Meyer