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Wood joins field with dramatic Champions Tour playoff win
Willie Wood, the Cinderella of the Champions Tour this year, is in the field for this week's Boeing Classic. Wood is the Monday qualifier...
Special to The Seattle Times
SNOQUALMIE — Willie Wood, the Cinderella of the Champions Tour this year, is in the field for this week's Boeing Classic.
Wood is the Monday qualifier who won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in a playoff Sunday at the En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, N.Y.
Wood sank a 35-foot birdie putt to force a playoff with Michael Allen, then won the tournament on the first extra hole after finishing tied at 13-under after 54 holes.
It had been 16 years since Wood won a PGA Tour event. That winless span included 189 PGA Tour events, 105 Web.com (formerly Nationwide) events and 15 Champions Tour tournaments.
Wood is the first golfer to win a Champions Tour event after competing in an early-week qualifying tournament since 2010 and only the 12th in the 32-year history of the Tour (previously called the Senior PGA Tour).
"It's really nice when things go your way," the 51-year-old said.
The qualifier for the Boeing Classic will be held Tuesday at Druids Glen Golf Club in Covington.
Wood had expected to play in it, but instead he found himself dealing with media requests and nonstop congratulations from friends. Instead of worrying about the qualifier, he was able to tour the Boeing Classic course at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, hit some putts, and then go sightseeing at Snoqualmie Falls.
"You work hard and you expect to do well," he said, "and you think you can do well and have faith in your ability, and finally good things happen."
The qualifier traditionally is a Monday event, but was switched to Tuesday this year because the previous Champions Tour event was in New York. Six golfers will win berths in the three-day tournament that opens Friday with a flyover of a Korean Air Boeing 747-8 at 11:20 a.m.
• Two multiple-event winners from the PGA Tour will make their Champions Tour debuts this week. They are Duffy Waldorf, the four-time champion who turned 50 on Monday, and Gene Sauers, a three-time champion, who turns 50 on Wednesday.
• Sandy Lyle, the World Golf Hall of Fame member who won the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters, will conduct a 1-hour clinic for kids ages 5-18 Tuesday at noon at the TPC.
• The "Rumble at the Ridge," a scramble matching a current or retired athlete with four amateurs, was won by a team headed by former Seahawks running back Randall Morris at 16-under 56. Members of the team were Sig Rudowicz, Todd Mielke, Jeff Adams and Greg Matz.
Six Sounders FC players also participated in the event. They were Marc Burch, Bryan Meredith, Fredy Montero, Brad Evans, Jeff Parke and Eddie Johnson along with announcers Kasey Keller and Ross Fletcher.
• In the seven previous Boeing Classic events, no first-round leader or co-leader has won.