SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — Near to the home precincts of Grey Goatee Nation this week we have the Boeing Classic, a stop on the Champions Tour for old fuckers who still got game.
Jerry Kelly is the defending champion at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge — last year, as a senior circuit rookie, he got a two-fer in the Northwestern sector of Grey Goatee Continent, following up his Boeing win with a title at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship in Victoria, B.C.
Northern Irishman Darren Clarke is here — a popular winner of The Open Championship in 2011, Clarke is playing in his first Champions event a couple weeks past his 50th birthday. He’s caught the senior vibe, if we listen to his pre-tournament interview.
“It’s good being a rookie when you’re 50 years old,” he said. “Ryder Cup, the captaincy (2010 and 2014) took a lot of time, a lot of effort for a few years. And then since then, basically hanging out at the Abaco Club down in the Bahamas, practicing and playing, doing a little bit of fishing, eating too much, drinking too much. Doing as you do in the Bahamas, having a good time.”
He got serious about his practice for the last three weeks, ’cause he wants to play well, he said. But it isn’t so much golf that explains his appeal with galleries and will make his first-day following — playing in a group that includes Seattle native Fred Couples — likely to be the largest on the course.
“Well, (I’m) sort of maybe not the healthiest nor smartest or fittest guy, whatever, so maybe it resonated a little bit with the crowd than some of the other ones,” he said. “But the crowds, they’ve always been very good to me.”