The final round of the 2019 Boeing Classic was perhaps the most memorable and anticipated day in the history of the tournament at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.
That’s because Seattle native Fred Couples had a five-shot lead entering the final round of the PGA Tour Champions event, and people came out like never before, hoping to watch their native son win the 50-and-over event.
Things rarely go as planned in golf, and Couples, who was so brilliant the day before, faltered badly and finished third. Still, the excitement from that final round was a lasting memory.
It has been a long time since any new memories were created at the tournament, which began in 2005. The 2020 event was canceled because of the coronavirus, but tournament director Brian Flajole said the tournament this year, scheduled for Aug. 20-22, is on for now.
“Right now, that’s the plan,” Flajole said. “Obviously, we don’t know what’s going to happen locally and what the world is going to look like at that time, but I think we are all hopeful. Maybe there aren’t 50,000 people out there, but that we do allow fans and we have kind of a normal setup.
“We’re moving forward as if it’s a normal event,” Flajole said.
Ernie Els, a four-time major champion who turned 50 in October 2019, was scheduled to play in last year’s event for the first time before it was canceled. Phil Mickelson, a five-time major winner, turned 50 last June but told reporters in January that he expects to mostly play on the PGA Tour for now.
Championship golf at Chambers Bay
Local golf fans must have been disappointed when the PGA Championship did not take Sahalee Country Club’s offer to be the replacement course for the 2022 event after it was taken away from Donald Trump’s course in New Jersey.
Sahalee, located in Sammamish, hosted the 1998 PGA Championship and the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, but Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa was picked as the replacement in 2022.
A much lesser-known championship — the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship — will be played at Chambers Bay in University Place, host of the 2015 U.S. Open, and at The Home Course in DuPont from May 22-26.
The championship started in 2015, replacing the U.S. Public Links Championship.
It will be an important week for Pierce County-owned Chambers Bay in its quest to get another U.S. Open or a Women’s U.S. Open. The course was the subject of sharp criticism during the 2015 event because of the condition of the fine fescue greens.
In the fall of 2018, the course was closed for six months to replace the fine fescue greens with native poa annua greens.
If the USGA likes what it sees in May from Chambers Bay, it will be a huge boost for the course’s chances to hold much higher-profile events.
Handful of local players in top 125
There are five players with local ties sitting in the top 125 of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings, led by Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor at No. 78.
Three former Huskies are in the top 125: C.T. Pan at No. 96, Joel Dahmen at No. 103 and Nick Taylor at No. 111.
Andrew Putnam from University Place is No. 122. The top 125 after the Wyndham Championship (Aug. 12-15) advance to the FedEx Cup playoffs and automatically retain their PGA Tour cards for next season.
Dahmen, from Clarkston, is ranked No. 64 in the Official World Golf Rankings, the highest of any player with local ties.