SNOQUALMIE — The German-born golfer who pulled off the “Seattle Sweep” in 2010 is atop the list of favorites in the 10th annual Boeing Classic that begins today at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.
Bernhard Langer won the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club on Aug. 1, 2010 then captured the Boeing Classic on Aug. 28 at Snoqualmie Ridge.
This year, Langer, 57, is a runaway lock for the Champions Tour player-of-the-year honors with five victories and a huge lead on the money list with $2.6 million in earnings. No one else is above $1.9 million.
“I feel good and things have been tremendous this year,” he said after his pro-am round Thursday. “I got off to a great start and continued all the way to this point.”
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Langer is coming off his fifth win of the season as he won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open last week in Endicott, N.Y. The Champions Tour record for most wins in a season is nine, but no one has won five since Langer did it in 2010, when win No. 5 came at the Boeing Classic.
Langer almost withdrew from last week’s tournament with an aching back, the result of playing soccer for an hour with his 14-year-old son. He left the Thursday pro-am after 10 holes but was able to play the next day.
His caddie last week was his daughter, Christina, who has returned to college this week at Florida Atlantic University, where she is on the golf team.
Langer said, “The putter’s been a little bit better this year than in the past and that’s where the scoring is.” He leads the Tour with a 67.9 scoring average.
The only person who may like the Snoqualmie Ridge course more than Langer is Jack Nicklaus, who designed it.
“I love this golf course,” Langer said. “I like the venue and the people here and everything. . . . I like the Northwest and I like the countryside. I enjoy looking at the mountains. I grew up in the foothills of the Alps, so my home course was pretty hilly. I’m used to awkward lies, uphill, downhill lies.”
• The pro-am team of Fred Couples, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Zac Keener,Scott Oki and Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul shot a 55 in the best-ball-with-handicap morning competition. Teams led by John Cook and Blaine McCallister both shot 53.
• Oregon grad Peter Jacobsen was the subject of cat-calls and jeers by Husky fans in the first two rounds last year but was treated better in Round 3 after the unsportsmanlike fan behavior was publicized.
Jacobsen didn’t like his treatment in the first two rounds last year but returned this year.
He said, “It would be hard to skip this tournament. . . . I love to play and I love to play in the Northwest.”
• Three golfers have played in the Boeing Classic all previous nine years — Tom Kite, Gil Morgan and Tom Purtzer.
• Golf Channel telecast hours: Friday — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday — 2 to 4 p.m.
• The annual flyover to start the tournament will be at 11:20 a.m. Friday and the plane will be an Alaska Airlines 737.
• Some rounds in the Seahawk-sponsored “Rumble at the Ridge” on Monday took nearly seven hours. The No. 1 reason cited for the long rounds was autograph hounds stopping the retired celebrity athletes after each hole.
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943 or firstname.lastname@example.org