A multitude of stellar professional golfers will once again descend upon The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge and put the local site in the spotlight while raising money for charity at the 15th Boeing Classic, which will take place Aug. 23-25.
Since its inception, the classic has collected more than $8 million for Benaroya Research Institute and other local charities. Virginia Mason is one of the main beneficiaries this year as well.
Scott Parel will tee up to defend his title in the 78-star field on the annual PGA TOUR Championship stop that will be broadcast on the Golf Channel. Golfers will hit the links to compete for $2.1 million in a three-round, 54-hole stroke-play tournament and the winner will notch a paycheck of $315,000.
James Hochrine, general manager for The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, said the classic is a vital fundraiser and “brings a nice atmosphere and a good vibe” to the city and the whole of Seattle.
“For 15 years, Snoqualmie has been very proud to be the home of the Boeing Classic,” said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. “This event gives us an opportunity to share the extraordinary beauty of our valley with a national audience. With the recent and pending addition of new hotels in our community, the financial benefits for our local businesses will substantially increase.”
Tournament manager Sarah Coyan added: “The whole week is just a lively atmosphere. We have great fans, great volunteers, great sponsors. In the end, it’s raising money for charity, which is most important.” A total of 750 people will volunteer at the classic this year and Coyan noted that they have an 80-percent return rate each year.
Classic week will begin with the Seahawks Rumble at the Ridge on Aug. 19 and continue with a youth clinic on Aug. 20. Both days will include PGA golfers’ practice rounds. The Seahawks event will feature participants from the professional sports industry — including former Hawks Jim Zorn and Walter Jones and former Mariner Bill Krueger and many others — playing for charity.
Next up on Aug. 21-22, the Korean Air Pro-Am will feature a special World Golf Hall of Fame pairing as well as celebrities to be announced.
On Aug. 23, a Boeing jet will get in on the action by flying over the course and crowd at 11:20 a.m. prior to the classic first round.
Another highlight will be the Hall of Fame Shootout for charity at noon Aug. 20 with Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Bernahrd Langer and Retief Goosen. All but Els will be part of the classic field.
Coyan is thrilled with this year’s field and said the golfers love the course, which is a par-72 that spreads out over 7,264 yards.
“The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge has a great atmosphere and gets a big draw. People say it’s a very Pacific Northwest course with Mount Si in the background,” Coyan added.
Last year, Parel rebounded from a five-stroke deficit on the final day to win the classic with a host of birdies to finish nine-under on the day and 18-under over three days to score his first PGA TOUR Champions crown.
“I am definitely looking forward to returning as it was a turning point in my career to win in Seattle,” said Parel in a press release. “I obviously really like the golf course, love the tournament and the whole area is beautiful. I really enjoy being there and can’t wait to get back.”
The classic will also welcome back two-time major champion John Daly, who finished tied for 21st at his first Snoqualmie appearance in 2016.
“John’s persona attracts golf and non-golf fans alike, as he is really an everyman that people can relate to,” tournament director Brian Flajole said in a press release, adding that Daly’s colorful attire, personality and booming, 300-yard tee shots will draw crowds.