Tom Kite is definitely on display this week, as both the defending champion of the Boeing Classic and as the co-designer (with Bob Cupp) of Liberty National, host site of The Barclays, the first event in the 2009 PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
A year ago at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Washington, Kite entered the final round trailing by three strokes and shot a Sunday 66 on the strength of five back-nine birdies to overtake Scott Simpson and win by two.
Kite has had an excellent season despite not winning. Prior to missing the cut at the U.S. Senior Open, he had five consecutive top-10 performances, the best a fourth-place showing at the 3M Championship. Kite is 24th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
FINALLY FEELING GOOD: Peter Jacobsen is back healthy on the Champions Tour and is scheduled to make his first appearance in the Seattle event since 2005. He has suffered right-knee (2008), lower-back (2007) and left-hip (2006) injuries over the last three years that have kept him out of action during the latter part of each of the previous three seasons. Jacobsen's best finish at the event was a tie for 20th in 2005.
PLAYOFF FRIENDLY: The seven-man playoff at the 2007 tournament was the largest in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned tournament. The all-time record on the PGA TOUR is six players -- at the 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Classic and the 2001 Nissan Open. The previous high on the Champions Tour was five players at the 1996 Emerald Coast Classic and the 1998 Kroger Senior Classic. The high on the Nationwide Tour is four players. When Denis Watson won the 2007 overtime session at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge with an eagle on the second extra hole, it marked the first time since the 1985 Merrill Lynch Golf Digest Commemorative (Lee Elder defeated Peter Thomson on the first extra hole) that a playoff was won with an eagle on the Champions Tour.
JACK'S POPULAR TRACK: Opened in June 1999, the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, has earned numerous accolades in the last decade. In 2002, it was certified in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program and was also recognized that year by Golfweek as one of the top-100 modern courses. It was also ranked as one of the top TPC courses in the country. The TPC Snoqualmie Ridge is the last of four TPC courses to host Champions Tour events in 2009.
LONG-TIME HOST OF CHAMPIONS: Prior to the Boeing Classic, the Greater Seattle area was the home of a previous Champions Tour event -- the GTE Northwest Classic. The event ran from 1986-1995 and was held at Sahalee Country Club (1986) in Redmond and Inglewood Country Club (1987-95) in Kenmore. The champions of that event were Bruce Crampton (1986 and 1988), Chi Chi Rodriguez (1987), Al Geiberger (1989), George Archer (1990), Mike Hill (1991), Mike Joyce (1992), Dave Stockton (1993), Simon Hobday (1994), and Walter Morgan (1995).
|Weather forecast for the Boeing Classic|
|Boeing Classic snippets|
PICTURE OF CONSISTENCY: Although he eventually won the 2007 event in a playoff, Watson carded three consecutive rounds of 69 in regulation. That made him the last player to win after shooting the same score each day over 54 holes. Before Watson's victory, Steve Veriato had been the last winner to record the same score over three days at the 2001 Novell Utah Showdown.