Golf

Skins game coming to Chambers Bay

Puyallup’s Ryan Moore was one of the many who appreciated Fred Couples, a Seattle native, bringing a slice of the PGA Tour experience to the area in the 1990s, even if it was just a two-day exhibition.

Now a tour player himself, Moore took that gratitude a step further Tuesday, announcing he will host a skins game featuring four of the bright young players on the PGA Tour.

Moore, Michael Putnam of Tacoma, Australian Aaron Baddeley and Bubba Watson, of Bagdad, Fla., will participate in the inaugural event Oct. 8-9.

“I’m excited about it,” Moore said Tuesday from Grand Blanc, Mich., where he is preparing to play in the Buick Open starting Thursday.

“Really, since Couples had his pro-am, there hasn’t been anything PGA Tour-oriented in the area very consistently. Michael and I would like to get a tour event … but until then, something like this is a great way to expose the game to some people.”

On Oct. 8, the four players will host an hour-long junior golf clinic at The Classic Country Club, then will play three holes together as an exhibition. After that, the juniors are welcome to play nine holes on Moore’s home course for free.

At 8 a.m. the next day, Moore, Putnam, Baddeley and Watson will tee it up at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place for an 18-hole skins game.

Each golfer will play for a local charity, which will get a guaranteed $25,000 beforehand, in addition to whatever the player wins out of the $50,000 purse as a supplement.

The golfers will fly out of Sea-Tac Airport that afternoon as the tour shifts to Las Vegas for the Frys.com Open.

“I’d love to do this,” Baddeley said. “Ryan tells me all about the area and how good it is.”

Baddeley, 26, is the most accomplished player of the bunch. He has won two PGA Tour events, including the FBR Open in February. He was the 54-hole leader at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania before closing with an 80, finishing tied for 13th.

Watson, 28, is a pure delight, mainly because of how far he hits the ball. His 315.1-yard driving average leads the PGA Tour, but he has been quietly consistent with five top-10 finishes this season, including a tie for fifth at the U.S. Open.

“Aaron is one of the nicest guys on tour, period. He’s a phenomenal putter, and keeps proving it over and over. He’s a top-10 player in the world because of his consistency,” Moore said.

“Bubba, I think, is by far the most entertaining player to watch on the PGA Tour. Obviously, he hits the ball a mile, but he really works the golf ball. He’ll swing an 8-iron from 200 yards out, and hit a big ol’ hook in there but has control of it.”

The event has been in the works for four months, said Mike Moore, whose management group will run things. It isn’t known if admission will be charged for the skins game at Chambers Bay.

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