The Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament is down, but it’s not out. At least not yet.
The county’s premier event for men’s amateur golfers, which is in its 90th iteration, has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The 90th annual Michelob Ultra Snohomish County Amateur was originally scheduled to take place during its usual spot over Memorial Day weekend. All three rounds were set to take place on Everett golf courses this year, with the first round at Walter Hall Golf Course on May 23, the second round at Legion Memorial Golf Course on May 24 and the final round at Everett Golf & Country Club on May 25.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s extending of the stay-at-home order through the end of May brought the tournament to a halt. However, tournament director Jason Himple is hoping the tournament can be postponed rather than canceled outright, with Labor Day weekend in September the target.
“The stay-at-home order being extended means there can be no large gatherings, and unfortunately the Snohomish County Amateur has a gallery, which means there’s an uncontrollable crowd,” Himple said. “We’re just following suit with the Washington State Golf Association, which has canceled or postponed all its May golf events as well.”
Himple said that to his knowledge this is the first time the Snohomish County Amateur has ever been postponed. The tournament wasn’t even disrupted by World War II.
The key to being able to reschedule the tournament is finding suitable dates and getting the courses on board. The Snohomish County Amateur is a three-round tournament and the participants are amateurs, meaning it requires a three-day weekend for completion. That’s why Labor Day weekend, which is Sept. 5-7, is the target. Himple said he’s hoping to retain the same three courses for a rescheduled tournament.
“I’m not sure what the exact percentage (chance the tournament will still be played), but I would say there’s about a 50-percent chance that we can have it,” Himple said. “That’s if this virus can stay the course and nothing gets worse. If things get worse, we’re looking at 2021 as the next reschedule date.”
Himple said registration for the tournament, which is conducted on the tournament’s website, is closed until June 1. He expects to make an announcement on whether the tournament will be played this year by that date.
The tournament, which had seen declining participation numbers since 2014, had a resurgence last year after Everett Golf & Country Club returned to the rotation following a four-year hiatus. Last year’s tournament was won in a playoff by Alvin Kwak, then a senior at Kamiak High School and now a member of the Columbia University men’s golf team in New York City.