Coston won the Washington Open for the fifth time last season, edging former Seattle Mariner pitcher Erik Hanson and 2015 champion Darren Black by one shot.
Jeff Coston, who at 60 became the oldest known winner of the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational, will be back at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent to defend his title in the tournament, which dates to 1922.
The tournament begins Monday, followed by rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.
Coston won the Washington Open for the fifth time last season, edging former Seattle Mariner pitcher Erik Hanson and 2015 champion Darren Black by one shot. Coston tied Chuck Congdon for the most career victories in the tournament.
Most of the best golfers in state history have won the event, including Fred Couples, Don Bies, Rick Acton and Al Mengert.
Record rains hurt courses
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The record-setting rainfall from last October through April and chilly temperatures has been bad news for golf-course operators.
Premier Golf, which operates the three Seattle municipal 18-hole courses as part of its total of 11 courses in King and Snohomish counties, had a 28 percent decrease in rounds in the October-through-April period compared to last year, according to Matt Amundsen, director of operations for Premier.
Seattle received 45.9 inches of rain from Oct. 1 through April. The normal total is 30.9 inches. The previous October-April measuring period was a gusher, too, with 44.52 inches of rain but was more golf-friendly.
Puget Sound courses weren’t alone in enduring bad weather.
In an April 22 story in the Longview Daily News, the course director at Mint Valley Golf Course said there had been 10 “playable days” in 2017 because of precipitation and cold temperatures compared with 40 to the same point in 2016.
Farther south, the Skamania Lodge Golf Course near the Columbia River outside Stevenson in Skamania County didn’t open until April 14. The course usually opens March 1, an employee said.
The bad weather has made many golfers who play at courses that offer annual passes for a set fee reconsider whether they might be better off paying for individual rounds this year. Courses prefer big checks early in the year.
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