It was supposed to be the experience of a lifetime for the foursome who bid $12,000 at the Tuesday pro-am draw party for the right to play Wednesday afternoon with Fred Couples. However, on the first hole of the day, one man's disappointment turned in to a chance of a lifetime for one young lady who is part of the Boeing Classic tournament staff.
When a member of the foursome from BIT Statement Processing, a local company based in Renton, Washington, injured himself on just his second swing of the day, event intern Katie Saucier was called in to help the team. Saucier, a member of the University of Washington Women's Golf Team, suddenly went from moving boxes at registration to hitting a tee shot on the 2nd hole with one of Seattle's biggest sports stars watching her.
After hastily grabbing her clubs, the Bainbridge Island, Wash. senior double-majoring in economics and communications, was shuttled out to catch up with her pro-am group.
"I was a mess starting out, actually in a daze for the first few holes", Saucier said after the round. "I finally got it together after some encouragement from Joe LaCava (Couples longtime caddie). I guess the highlight of the round was my natural birdie at No. 14, the short par-4 signature hole at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. I drove the green."
"We threw her under the bus right off the bat. She didn't have time to hit any balls," Couples said. "Katie's got a nice game. It's a little intimidating to be out there that quickly with no warm-up, but she's
a good player and really drove the ball extremely well, long and straight which is a pretty good combination."
With her final collegiate golf season just around the corner, Saucier took more than just a precious memory with Couples away from yesterday's pro-am round.
"I think playing in something like this was actually good for me," she said. "It was an opportunity for me to see what parts of my game I need to work on the most in preparation for when my team starts playing in tournaments this fall. Once my competitive juices finally kicked in, I figured if I can get through this, the rest of the season should be a breeze."
Saucier has received her share of attention from local media in Seattle and now it won't be long before more than her Facebook friends know of her surprise pro-am round with Couples.
"It all happened so quickly that I didn't have a chance to tell anyone," Saucier said. "After we were done, I only let my college roommate know. My coach doesn't even know yet."