Published: Aug 03, 2011 11:58 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 04, 2011 6:30 AM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) - For the first time in its 13-year history, the Reno-Tahoe Open will be played this week the way Jack Nicklaus originally designed the course at Montreux Golf & Country Club on the edge of the Sierra Nevada.

Defending champ Matt Bettencourt says it should make for an exciting finish on what will be the 616-yard, par-5 18th when play begins on Thursday.

By flipping the order of play of the front and back nines, Bettencourt says even a five-stroke lead might not be safe come Sunday as they head for the final three holes.

Nine former champions of majors are among those chasing the $3 million purse in Reno: Ben Curtis, Rich Beem, David Duval, Steve Elkington, Lee Janzen, Justin Leonard, Shaun Micheel, Jose Maria Olazabal and John Daly.