The Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament is making a big comeback this year.
There are 111 players in the field for the 89th annual Michelob Ultra Snohomish County Amateur, which begins Saturday and continues through Monday. That’s the most since 2014, and it represents more than a 70-percent increase from last year.
“I feel very good about that,” tournament director Jason Himple said. “Without pointing fingers I’d say there are multiple factors (for the increase in participation). Some of it is having better marketing through our sponsorship. Then there’s course rotation, no doubt that’s in a lot of people’s minds.”
Indeed, this is the first time since 2014 that Everett Golf and Country Club is a part of the tournament. Everett Golf and Country Club was traditionally the site of the final round for the top flight, but the course withdrew following 2014 citing possible legal complications with being involved in the County Am. Since then the tournament saw participation numbers drop from 156 in 2014 to 65 last year.
However, those legal fears have abated and Everett Golf and Country Club returned this year, reprising its role as the site of Monday’s final round. The first round is Saturday at Walter Hall Golf Course in Everett, the second round is Sunday at Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Mukilteo.
The increased size of the field brings a corresponding increase in the number of championship contenders. Eight former champions are taking part this year, including defending champ Jacob Rohde, five-time champion Alex Stamey and four-time winner Todd Tibke.
Rohde, who finished in the top two at each of the past three County Ams and has qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur the past four years, comes in as the favorite. However, with 18 players entering with plus handicaps, Rohde should see plenty of competition, particularly from the long-hitting young guns. Kamiak High School senior Alvin Kwak, a two-time U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier, comes in with the low handicap at +3.8. The field also features a handful of college standouts, including Pacific Lutheran’s Jordan Brajcich (a Jackson High School graduate) and Western Washington’s Ethan Casto (a Snohomish High School graduate), both of whom are coming off all-conference campaigns this spring.