Eastside News

Fred Couples headlines 14th annual Boeing Classic

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — Before watching golfers compete in the 14th annual Boeing Classic on Friday, there was one moment everybody arrived early to see: The Boeing Classic flyover.

Carolyn Case from Naples, Florida, makes the trip to Snoqualmie every year to soak in the annual tradition.

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​"I love the flyover. I get teary eyed (when I see the special moment)," said Case. "Anyway, I'm celebrating my 80th birthday (this weekend). That's why I'm out here this time."

From the flyover to some of the biggest names in golf, everybody came out to see Seattle native Fred Couples play in the Boeing Classic.

Couples has been limited to a few events between the PGA and Champions Tours because of back issues this year, but playing at the Boeing Classic is always at the top of his list.

"We thought Freddy wasn't going to make it," Valerie Tidquist, who moved from California to Snoqualmie, said. "It was kind of a last minute (decision for Couples) so we're so excited to see Freddy today."

"This is almost a little bit of a dream come true – it's surreal," said Jason Tartick, who moved from New York to Seattle. "And to think I'm teeing off at the same tee box as hometown Freddy Couples … what an honor." 

"Not having a regular PGA tour event here (is tough)," said Bernie Johnson, who lives in University Place. "This is like the premiere thing going on (in our area) unless we get a major coming through. It's always good. Freddy [Couples] makes everything look easy."

The Boeing Classic also serves as a charity event.

"The Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) of Virginia Mason is the leading autoimmune research institute in the world, so the proceeds go to that," Brian Flajole, the Boeing Classic executive director, said. "We've raised more than $7 million for that and other local charities."