SNOQUALMIE – The Northwest headliner at the Boeing Classic for Round 1 wasn’t Fred Couples but instead a teaching pro from Blaine who made one of the day’s most spectacular shots and is 4 under par entering Saturday’s second round.

Jeff Coston holed a 118-yard shot with a 52-degree gap wedge on the seventh hole en route to a 68 that puts him tied for 13th.

Coston got into the tournament Monday as the second alternate, receiving the news after shooting 69 in the first round at the Northwest Open at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla. Coston, who has won 19 Northwest club pro “majors,” withdrew from that tournament and headed west.

Coston, 58, had stints on the PGA and (then Nationwide) tours and has been a teaching pro the past 20 years at Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club in Blaine.

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“Same wife, same job,” he joked.

This is the fifth appearance in the Boeing Classic for Coston, whose best finish was a tie for 33rd in 2007.

Couples shot 1-under 71, and Seattle native Rick Fehr was even par. Fehr, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, needs to win this weekend to retain his exempt status on the Champions Tour.

Tough par 3s

Couples played the four par-3 holes even.

Before the tournament he said, “The par-3s here are brutal. The ninth and 17th holes are as good as we play all year. The ninth hole is like the 12th at Augusta but it’s 40 yards longer. The ninth hole is unbelievable.”

The ninth hole is 207 yards over a lake.

Flyover off course?

The Alaska Airlines 737 that flew over the course to start the tournament didn’t fly directly over the 18th fairway, which was the route of the flyover in past years when Boeing pilots were at the controls.

“That’s just like most of my drives,” one spectator said. “Not in the fairway.”


• Nice start: The threesome that played the back nine first on Friday — Tom Byrum, Bob Tway and Mark Brooks — all birdied their first hole, the 10th.

• The threesome of golfers who have shot 59s in their careers didn’t have the same magic Friday. Kevin Sutherland, who shot 59 last Saturday, shot 72. Paul Goydos shot 71 and Chip Beck had a 70. This was the first time in Champions Tour history that there was a threesome of 59ers.

• The day’s high score was Jeff Brehaut, who shot 86 and had four double-bogeys on his first nine holes.