Tom Kite has won the Boeing Classic twice and is the lone golfer to play in all previous 13 Boeing Classics. He is back for more this year after having knee surgery in February.
SNOQUALMIE – The only golfer to play in all previous 13 Boeing Classic golf tournaments was on the range at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge on Tuesday morning, which was a non-surprise equal to finding a cow in a pasture.
Hardworking Tom Kite, 68, seemed genuinely pleased to be back at a course where he has won twice and built a following.
“This has been a good tournament for me,” the World Golf Hall of Fame member said. “The ones I won (2006 and 2008) were great. I’ve had some other good tournaments here, nice high finishes, opportunities to win.”
“I like the golf course. I enjoy it. I think it’s fun. With the elevation changes that you have out here, it’s a fairly difficult golf course to club on.”
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Kite had knee surgery in February, has played in eight tournaments since then and hasn’t been in contention.
“Because I had surgery on my knee this year, this year has been poor,” he said. “I haven’t played very well, but I’m starting to show some signs. I haven’t been consistent yet, but each of the last three-four weeks I’ve had one or two rounds that are really encouraging. I think things are moving in the right direction.”
The three-day Boeing Classic begins Friday.
Mogg gives advice
Brian Mogg, the Pierce County native with an international teaching reputation, had strong advice for young golfers and their parents at the tournament’s annual kids’ clinic.
“Teach your kids to swing fast first,” Mogg advised. “Then refine mechanics over time.”
He also urged his mostly grade-school audience to play a variety of sports “for the hand-eye coordination that goes with it.”
Mogg stressed the importance of hips in golf and other sports and demonstrated the exercise of squatting on one leg and placing the airborne leg over the knee of the squatting leg.
Appearing with Mogg at the clinic were fellow Boeing Classic competitor Skip Kendall and former Seahawk Bryan Walters, a Juanita High School grad who was a member of the Super Bowl championship team.
Mogg was present for a meeting of two special athletes at Augusta National this spring when he was playing with his son, Daniel, and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson one group ahead of Tiger Woods.
“Tiger ran ahead on the third hole because he wanted to meet Russell,” Mogg said. “Two elite athletes got to meet each other.”
On the ninth hole, Wilson smoked a drive and quickly found himself being congratulated by Woods.
Daniel Mogg works for Wilson as a videographer.
- Pros have instructors, too, and Brian Mogg was pleased to mention he works with Bart Bryant, winner of last weekend’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
- Friday’s tournament-starting flyover by a Boeing jetliner will be made by a 787-9 at 11:15 a.m. The tournament bills the annual flyover by a Boeing jet as one of the most unusual starting traditions in U.S. sports.
- Four players earned berths in the tournament at a qualifier Tuesday at High Cedars Golf Club in Orting, Pierce County. Guy Boros (son of Hall of Fame member Julius Boros) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shot a 5-under-par 66, Tom Werkmeister of Grandville, Mich., shot a 67, Mike Grob of Billings, Mont., shot a 68 and John Inman of Durham, N.C. shot a 69 but had to win his berth in a four-man playoff.
- New on the grounds this year are mock tail sections of various Boeing jetliners such as the 737 and 787.
- Lee Janzen, two-time U.S. Open winner, visited the training facility of the Seahawks. It has become a tournament tradition that at least one player visit the Seahawks and hit some shots.
- The tournament’s Chateau Ste. Michelle wine pavilion has been expanded and moved to a deck in front of the clubhouse overlooking the 18th green.