SNOQUALMIE – Fred Couples has withdrawn from the Boeing Classic because of continuing back problems.
Couples hasn’t played a tournament on either the Champions Tour or PGA Tour since February.
“He had hoped to be able to play here,” said Boeing Classic executive director Michelle DeLancy.
Couples, 56, has two third-places finishes in the Boeing Classic with one of them coming last year. In 2012, he hit his opening tee shot, then withdrew because of back pain.
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Couples is a Seattle native and considered the best male golfer in state history. His career has been plagued by back problems.
Also withdrawing were Kenny Perry and Gil Morgan. They were replaced by Fran Quinn and Blaine McCallister.
2013 champion fails to qualify
Four berths in the field were filled Monday in the qualifier at High Cedars Golf Club in Orting.
Gary Hallberg of Parker, Colo., led qualifiers with an 8-under 64. Gibby Gilbert III and Eduardo Herrera tied for second with 65s and Stan Utley got the final berth with 66.
John Riegger, who won the Boeing Classic in 2013, failed to make the field as he tied for fifth.
Rypien on a roll
Mark Rypien, former Washington State quarterback who was Super Bowl MVP for Washington in 1992, led his team to victory in the 12th annual Rumble at the Ridge on Monday.
The competition was a five-man scramble and there were 34 teams. Rypien and his partners Ray Benefield, Dave Curry, Andrew Forrester and Brett Tucker finished at 15-under.
It was two victories in two days for Rypien, who won the 80-yard shot-to-an-island-green accuracy contest at a reception Sunday at Seahawk headquarters for the Rumble competitors.
Proceeds from the Rumble at the Ridge benefit the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Pete Carroll’s charity “A Better Seattle” that aims to reduce youth and gang violence in the Seattle area.
Among the former athletes who participated were Sam Adkins, Jordan Babineaux, Blair Bush, Mkristo Bruce, Nesby Glasgow, Jacob Green, Mike Haynes, Norm Johnson, Jeff Kemp, Dave Krieg, Steve Largent, Mark Lee, Roger Levesque, Sam McCullum, Lawyer Milloy, Chuck Nelson, Bill North, Ray Pinney, Ray Roberts, Mack Strong, Jack Thompson, Ricky Watters, Slick Watts, Gus Williams and Jim Zorn.
• Former Seahawk Green held the 29th annual Jacob Green Charity Golf Classic last month at The Golf Club at Newcastle. The tournament honors Green’s late father, also named Jacob, who died of cancer in 1984. The tournament has raised more than $3 million for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
• Ex-Seahawk quarterback Krieg lives outside Phoenix and pays attention to both the Arizona Cardinals and the Seahawks. So which team will win the NFC West this year?
“It’s a toss-up,” Krieg said.