Inside Comments: Steve Turcotte

Pacific Northwest connection won’t give up on trying to bring PGA Tour to the area

Pacific Northwest Golf Association Executive Director Troy Andrew and Q13 Sports Director Aaron Levine one day decided to see what it would take to bring the PGA Tour to the Puget Sound area. On paper, it was a great idea. The market was starved for professional golf, as evidenced by the huge crowds at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and the sizeable crowds at the PGA Tour Champions Boeing Classic.

So, why not see if the PGA Tour could make a regular stop to the Puget Sound area.

Andrew and Levine started the ball rolling back in 2017 when they talked to the PGA Tour about the possibility of an event in the 2019 season. In fact, PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan told the two to see what they could find out about the area hosting a tournament in the fall of 2019.

The idea seemed great. An area that had only hosted special big-time events like the PGA Championship, the NEC Invitational and the U.S. Open might get into the rotation for a PGA Tour event. Andrew and Levine had looked at the Home Course and Tacoma Country and Golf Club as possible venues. The wheels seemed to be in motion.

But a call from the PGA Tour put the brakes on the idea. Jody Brothers from the PGA Tour said after meeting with the PGA Tour Champions representatives, the tour did not want a PGA Tour event in the same market as the Boeing Classic, which is held every August at the Golf Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.

It seems a natural fit for the Puget Sound area to be the home for a PGA Tour stop. There are several players on the PGA Tour from the Pacific Northwest – and many are among the top players. The big tournaments in the past have proven to be big draws in the area. And the PGA Tour is always looking for new markets, in fact new tournaments in Minneapolis and Detroit were on the schedule for the 2019 season.

But Levine said he is not done trying to bring the PGA Tour to the Puget Sound area. He thinks there is room for both a PGA Tour stop and a PGA Tour Champions event. And he might be right, the two tournaments would be more than 50 miles apart and likely at different times of the year. But his goal is a PGA Tour event, and you never know, it just might happen.

Steve Turcotte is editor of Inside Golf Newspaper. He can be reached at sdturcotte@comcast.net.