Patrick Siver: Making it happen, behind the scenes

By Ron Bellamy | Golf, Oregon |

Veteran events coordinator, sole owner of gEvents LLC, stages golf tournaments, including the 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur at Eugene Country Club. And, he does auctions …

The son of a San Antonio golf pro, Patrick Siver wanted to play on the PGA Tour, but realized early in his walk-on career at the University of Oregon that, despite a hole-in-one in his first qualifying tournament, that was not to be.

However, after graduation in 1988 his Oregon golf connections got him a job in the business world, selling insurance in Portland, except he wasn’t very successful and after three years was ready to quit.

Ah, but he’d been assigned the account of Jeff Sanders, former PGA golfer and an Oregon pioneer in the field of events management. That led to a 20-year working relationship in which Siver was the operations manager and tournament director of Jeff Sanders Promotions, charged with staging events such as the Boise Open, a myriad of fund-raising tournaments and the U.S. Amateur in Portland in 1996, and the U.S. Women’s Open the following year at Pumpkin Ridge.

It was a great ride until Sanders terminated Siver in 2010, sending him off with a severance package and a 10-months non-complete clause, a period in which Siver pondered what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Which is how summer of 2018 finds 53-year-old Patrick Siver the sole partner and employee of Beaverton-based gEvents LLC and the championships coordinator for the USGA Men’s Senior Amateur at Eugene Country Club, August 25-30.

Siver represents the club in its relationship with the U.S. Golf Association, overseeing a $250,000 budget and working through the 50-page manual for staging the event .

“I always ask ‘why do you want to do this?’” Siver said. “And the club wants to do this because it furthers its reputation as a premiere championship venue. … The Senior Am is littered with course-raters, and we have an opportunity to make sure those players have a great time and that they walk away from Eugene going ‘that was a pretty cool golf experience.’”

For his ability to create such an experience, Siver acknowledges Jeff Sanders and Sanders’ late father, Will, who became a mentor.

“I have to give Jeff an incredible amount of credit for my development in the industry,” Siver said. “He taught me a lot about the business. He provided me a vehicle to be who I am today. …

“And Will taught me a ridiculous amount. He was a second father in many ways. He taught me how to think about things and how to present things.”

On Sept. 1, 2011, Siver created gEvents, a one-man operation to stage golf tournaments. Through a mutual connection, his found his first client almost immediately —PGA Tour golfer Scott Verplank, an old acquaintance from their high school days in Texas who dealt with Type 1 diabetes throughout his career and wanted to stage a tournament to create a college scholarship fund for high school athletes with the condition.

Siver did more than stage the Verplank Foundation Invitational tournament, at Oak Tree National in Oklahoma; he helped Verplank create the foundation to manage the scholarships. The first year, the foundation received 12 applications and awarded five scholarships; in the tournament’s seventh year, 564 kids have applied and 34 are receiving scholarships at colleges such as Harvard, Stanford and Notre Dame.

“To be honest, he’s been unbelievable,” Verplank said of Siver. “I can’t imagine anyone doing a more thorough, complete job. … I’ve played in 9 million pro-ams, and I know what a good one is, and what a bad one is, and I want to make sure mine is good. Patrick knows what to do.”

Verplank’s recommendation connected Siver with another Oak Tree National member, NFL quarterback Brandon Weeden, who had created Brandon Weeden’s Swing from the Heart Golf Challenge, with the goal of endowing a chair for a pediatric heart surgeon at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

“The first year, my wife and my agent did most of the work and we realized real quick there are a lot of moving parts,” Weeden said. “Scott got us linked up with Patrick; without a doubt the best thing we did. … He does it all; he’s extremely organized and he’s taken our event to where it is today.”

Siver has added tournaments in Oregon and, during the winter months, found an unexpected niche as an auctioneer specializing in fund-raisers for non-profits. It was a role he filled initially as a favor for his wife’ charter school, and became intrigued enough to attend two auctioneering educational programs.

This year he will stage six golf tournaments and conduct 25 charity auctions while serving on the boards of the First Tee of Greater Portland, the Oregon Turf Grass Foundation and the Oregon Golf Association executive committee.

Though he rarely picks up a golf club anymore, Siver remains passionate about the game and his role in the sport.

“At the end of the day, I want my impact on the world to be that I did some pretty impressive things for other people with the talents that I have,” Siver said.

Staging golf tournaments, he’s doing that.

A version of this story originally appeared in Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine, August 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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