This week, the PGA TOUR Champions heads to Snoqualmie, Wash., 25 miles east of Seattle, for the 13th playing of the Boeing Classic at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, an acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Bernhard Langer, the winner of a record 10 majors on the PGA TOUR Champions and the Charles Schwab Cup champion for three years running, proved best in a three-man playoff to win the 2016 Boeing Classic. Langer is in this week’s field to defend his title.
The tournament airs Friday through Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST on Golf Channel. And if it’s anything like last year, there will be plenty of drama to watch.
“You need to be precise and have the nerve, and play the golf course the way it needs to be played,” Langer said. “There’s still a little bit of life left in me.”
Langer made a 4-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole last year to defeat Woody Austin and Kevin Sutherland in the three-man showdown. He shot 30 on the back nine of the final round and capped the victory with his playoff birdie. Shooting 69-67-67, Langer became the tournament’s oldest winner (59 years, 1 day). It was his second victory at the Boeing Classic—his first came in 2010.
This year, the timeless sensation on the PGA TOUR Champions faces top talent in the field. Seattle native and fan favorite Fred Couples, 57, returns to the tournament after having to withdraw last year due to continuing back problems. Fast-forward eight months to April, and the seemingly ageless Couples found himself in contention at the 2017 Masters and seeking a second Green Jacket 25 years after winning his first.
“I heard the (Snoqualmie Ridge) course is pretty firm and fast,” Couples said this week. “Sometimes that obviously makes the course play shorter but it will make it play harder. I will have a fun week.
“Do I want to win this tournament? Yeah. Do I like to come up here and play? Yes. Do I wish we had another major in Oregon or Washington? Yes, I think we deserve it. I’m a Northwest guy and I think we have some of the finest courses for us to play.”
For 17 years, The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge stood as the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the Pacific Northwest. That was until the Golden Bear donated his services to design a new nine holes at American Lakes Veterans Golf Course, the course situated just outside Tacoma built specifically for disabled veterans. The new Nicklaus Nine opened in June 2016.
But at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, you have the realization of a vision to marry a spectacular natural setting with a golf course and club aimed at bringing the excitement of tournament play back to Washington. The course is designed to accommodate championship events, while offering superb playability for golfers of all levels.
Golf Digest included The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge on its list of the Best New Private Courses in 2000, and all these years later, the magazine ranks the club among the Best Golf Courses in Washington. Measuring 7,264 yards from the tips, the breathtaking par-72 layout at the foothills of the Cascade Range features panoramic mountain views in every direction. The fairways are receptive to a wide variety of tee shots, which makes driving the golf ball lots of fun; however, challenge awaits the golfer on each and every approach shot. The greens are traditional in size and shape, and the putting surfaces are fair and readable.