Top Seniors back in area for Boeing Classic
The sixth Boeing Classic begins Friday at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, 11½ miles from the Sahalee Country Club, site of the U.S. Senior Open that ended Aug. 1. On that memorable Sunday, Bernhard Langer outdueled Seattle native Fred Couples to win by three strokes. In an effort to capitalize on that showdown that drew 31,144 fans, Langer and Couples are paired together in Friday's first round at 1 p.m. with Nick Price.
Special to The Seattle Times
Free FridayTips for enjoying Free Friday at the Boeing Classic at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge:
1. Arrive in time to watch the low altitude flyover of a 777 at 11:20 a.m.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. This is the one sport where fans get exercise, too.
3. Don't forget that rounds will start Friday on both the first and 10th tees. A free pairings guide will be available.
4. You can't bring your own food or beverages onto the course. Hot dogs are $4.75. There is a drinking fountain at the clubhouse near the first tee.
5. Be quiet and still when players are hitting or putting.
6. No cameras allowed.
7. Things to see: 1) Snoqualmie Falls from the 12th tee; 2) The par-4 14th hole where golfers have the option to "go for it" and try to hit the green by clearing a deep ravine; 3) The par-3 ninth hole that requires a tee shot over a lake; 4) The view of the Snoqualmie Valley from the fifth hole; 5) The view of Mount Si from the 13th hole; 6) The driving range because it's the place to watch a lot of players at once; 7) The "village" of corporate booths near the main entrance.
Boeing ClassicWhen: Friday through Sunday.
Course: TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Par-72, 7,183 yards. Snoqualmie Ridge, Exit 25 off I-90.
Field: A total of 78 golfers, no cut. Fred Couples and 16 other winners of PGA Tour "majors" are scheduled to play, including Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Nick Price, Mark O'Meara, Craig Stadler, Bernhard Langer and Mark Calcavecchia.
Defending champion: Loren Roberts.
Starting times: Golfers tee off both No. 1 and No. 10 every day. Tee times from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily. Leaders go off last on Saturday and Sunday from the No. 1 tee.
Admission: Free for everyone on Friday. Adults $20 each weekend day, seniors (62 and over) $10 each weekend day, kids 14-and-under free; Canyon Club upgrade $50 a day; Delta Global Pavilion upgrade $150 a day; Boeing employees and retirees free every day (one ticket per employee badge).
Television: Golf Channel, Friday 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Purse: $1.9 million (winner gets $285,000).
Special event: Boeing 777 flyover at 11:20 a.m. Friday morning to start the tournament.
The senior golf circus is back in town after an absence of only 3 ½ weeks.
Almost all of the stars are back, and this time the stage has wider fairways, mountain views and fewer trees.
The stakes aren't as high but the title is still prized.
The sixth Boeing Classic begins Friday at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, 11 ½ miles from the Sahalee Country Club, site of the U.S. Senior Open that ended Aug. 1.
On that memorable Sunday, Bernhard Langer outdueled Seattle native Fred Couples to win by three strokes. In an effort to capitalize on that showdown that drew 31,144 fans, Langer and Couples are paired together in Friday's first round at 1 p.m. with Nick Price.
Boeing tournament officials say they are confident that fans are up for a second helping of over-50 golf. Added incentive? Friday is free-admission day, sponsored by Golf Galaxy, a national chain of golf stores.
There are a lot of familiar names this year at the TPC. Names such as Tom Kite, Mark O'Meara, Craig Stadler, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin and, of course, Langer and Couples. A record 16 players in the field have won PGA Tour "majors." That is only three fewer major winners than played in the Senior Open.
The total was 17 until 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway withdrew Wednesday. He was replaced by Steve Haskins, son of late Texas-El Paso basketball coach Don Haskins.
Among golfers playing in the Classic for the first time are 1989 British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia and Tommy Armour III. Calcavecchia set the PGA Tour consecutive birdie record with nine straight in Canadian Open in 2009. Armour is the PGA Tour record-holder for lowest 72-hole score of 254 with a 64-62-63-65 at 2003 Valero Texas Open.
• The entry fee for a foursome in the Korean Air Pro-Am that started Wednesday cost $8,000 for one day or $16,000 for both days. An auction was held at the pairings party Tuesday at Qwest Field for the right for a foursome to play with Fred Couples on Wednesday, and the winning bid by Mark Selland of BIT Statement Processing was $12,000. One of golfers in the group suffered a leg injury on his second shot on the first hole and was replaced by Boeing Classic intern Katie Saucier, who plays on the UW golf team.
• Gary Locke, former Washington governor and current U.S. Secretary of Commerce, played in the morning round of the Pro-Am. He was a guest of the tournament, and his group included pro Gary Hallberg.
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.