Former UW, NFL star lights up course at San Juan Celebrity Golf Classic

Jordyn Taylor celebrates as Matt Chevalier

Nearly $36K raised; Borahan sinks 50-footer to win longest putt

They’re probably still dousing down the hot spots over at the San Juan Golf and Country Club.

Former Husky and NFL tight end Cam Cleeland and company set the course on fire for a sizzling first-place finish at the 22nd annual Wells Fargo San Juan Island Celebrity Golf Classic.

Cleeland, a familiar face at the annual charitable event, was teamed with local golfers Travis Mager, Kevin McCullough, Scott Williams and Jake Phillips in the event. They smoked the rest of the field by shooting a blistering 56 in 18 holes of golf — that’s 15 strokes under par and about as good as it ever gets in the classic’s best-ball competition.

Hours after the last putt dropped, Mager still was scratching his head over the seemingly endless string of better-shot-after-better-shot uncorked by the players on his team.

“Cam was crushing the ball off the tee about a mile every time,” Mager said. “But then Jake would come up and drive it farther. It was like that all the way, with everyone contributing one great shot after another. It was just one of those days.”

San Juan’s Matt Chevalier shook his head in disbelief after Shelly Borahan sank a 50-foot putt on the 18th hole to knock his 33-footer on the same hole out of the lead. Borahan won a night at Roche Harbor Resort with the putt while Chevalier searched for a silver lining.

“Her shot was for a birdie, my shot was for an eagle,” he noted.

Cleeland and crew pocketed $70 a piece by finishing at the front of the pack. They outpaced the team of Price and Price (Jerry and son, Cody), and Cuomo and Cuomo (Rob and daughter, Megan), and Matt Cowell by four strokes.

The elder Cuomo credits the younger generation with keeping the team in contention.

“We’re just out here carrying the luggage,” he said.

The classic has generated funds for a dozen local non-profits over the past two decades. The list of beneficiaries includes the Family Resource Center, San Juan Historical Society and Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Donations, entry fees, silent and live auctions, and the marquee salmon dinner generated nearly $36,000 this year, according to classic coordinator Pat O’Day.

For Yes drummer Alan White, the course, the community and a good cause keep him coming back. This was White’s 10th consecutive appearance.

He hailed the prowess of teammates Micah Reitan and Jordyn Taylor.

“Those two high school kids just hit the hell out of the ball,” he said.

On the course, some celebrities are more comfortable than others.

Paul Wulff knew celebrity golf tournaments were in store when he accepted the job as head coach of the WSU football program. But he’d rather face down a blitz than stare down a fairway any day.

“I getting out on the course a lot more than I used to,” he said. “But you wouldn’t know it watching my swing.”

Likewise, racing phenomenon Kayleigh Perkins straps into the cockpit of a hydroplane and torpedoes across the water at 100-plus mph without batting an eye. But hand her a golf club and she feels like a fish out of water.

“I think I’ll stick to racing boats,” she said.