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Viewpoint: The past, present and future of the Albertsons Boise Open

Since it started in 1990, the Albertsons Boise Open has raised more than $30 million for area nonprofits.

BOISE, Idaho — The 33rd Albertsons Boise Open tees off later this week. It runs from Thursday to Sunday, August 18-21 at Hillcrest Country Club as part of the Korn Ferry Tour.
150 golfers will compete for a total purse of $1 million. The winner's share is $180,000.

Thousands of fans will follow these highly-skilled players along the fairways and around the greens.

But the tournament is about more than golf. Over the last three decades it has become part of the summer fabric of Boise. Besides being a long weekend of sports entertainment for fans and families, it's also become known for three nights of post-golf concerts by well-known performers. This year country band Midland, Billy Idol and Train will take the stage on the 18th fairway.

In terms of charity, the Open has had a long-lasting impact on the community. Since its first year in 1990, the tournament has given more than $30 million dollars in donations to area nonprofits. Last year alone the donation was $2.9 million. Tournament organizers hope to top that this year.

They say the tournament also would not be possible without an army of 750 volunteers.

This edition of Viewpoint focuses on the past, present and future of the Albertsons Boise Open.

Below is an excerpt with tournament Executive Director Jeff Sanders about the earliest days of the Boise Open.

Doug Petcash: "What was the prize money purse in 1990?"

Jeff Sanders: "In 1990 the Ben Hogan Boise Open presented by Albertsons was $100,000. First place was 18%, so $18,000, and we gave $25,000 to charity and thought we hit a grand slam home run."

Doug Petcash: "What were the accommodations for the players?"

Jeff Sanders: "Well, most of them slept in their car. The guys drove the tour back then. They didn't fly. They didn't have the money to fly. So they drove the tour."

Sanders said many of the players would also shower in the clubhouse to save money.

Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 on KTVB Idaho's NewsChannel 7.

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