SNOQUALMIE — The return of the Boeing Classic after a year off because of the coronavirus was “an A-plus,” the tournament director said.

That was the grade Brian Flajole gave it Sunday afternoon, even if the crowds at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge were a little smaller than he would have expected.

“It’s hard right now, in terms of everything that is going on in the world right now, and vendors and all that stuff, but we are extremely happy we were able to get through all of that,” Flajole said. “I’d say A-plus in actually pulling it off and having a tournament this year.”

The crowds in 2019 were some of the biggest in tournament history, no doubt boosted by the fact Seattle native Fred Couples was up near the top of the leaderboard on the weekend.

Couples was not in contention this year, and there were other factors not in the tournament’s control that might have affected attendance.

“I’d factor in COVID, and the weather certainly didn’t cooperate,” said Flajole, citing the rain Saturday and unseasonably cold temperatures. “We’ve had a beautiful, beautiful summer and we didn’t get it this weekend.”

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But mostly it was smiles for anyone connected to the tournament.

“There were other activities in town, like Seafair, who were unable to do their event this summer, and we were able to fight through all the regulations and keep people safe and get through the event without any major incidents,” Flajole said. “And the people who are out here are having a great time. I think that’s the highlight, that in 2021 we were actually able to do the event.”

Couples finishes with a bang

It was not the week Couples was looking for, but he ended it with style, nearly holing out for an albatross on the par-5 18th. He tapped in for the eagle, finishing the round at 1 under.

He was 4 under the for the tournament, tied for 26th.

He birdied the par-5 first hole, but was even par through the first nine, not the type of start he was hoping for. He joked that he went to the Seahawks game Saturday night and maybe that was the reason for the slow start.

Couples had not played in a tournament for more than a month.

“I practiced pretty hard, but when you’re screwing around it’s a lot different than when you start looking at flags and picturing shots, so I was pretty rusty,” he said.

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Couples, a big Seattle sports fan, said he plans to fly to Seattle to see some Kraken games. And he also will return to The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge in hopes of getting the elusive victory in front of his hometown fans.

“Next year,” he said. “Isn’t that what they say, ‘Next year?’ “

Mogg ties for best round of the day

Brian Mogg from Gig Harbor shot a 6-under 66 to tie winner Rod Pampling for the best round of the day. He started on No. 10 and played his first nine holes in 6 under, including five consecutive birdies on holes 14-18.

Mogg, a renowned instructor, gave a youth clinic Saturday evening after a 76 in which he “had a bad experience with his putter.”

He got into a putting competition with the juniors, and trying less hard than he had during his round, the putts started going in.

“In the junior event, I won, beating the kids,” he said. “It taught me a lesson, you just can’t try so hard.”