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Golf Roundup: Seahawks' Flynn upstages the pros

The SportsXchange

With the Champions Tour making a stop last week at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Snoqualmie, Wash., for the Boeing Classic, Bobby Clampett and Steve Jones paid a visit to the Seattle Seahawks' practice facility.

Not only did Jones and Clampett throw the ball around with some of the Seahawks, an 80-yard hole was set up for a friendly closest-to-the-pin competition.

Clampett and Jones had one shot apiece, and quarterback Matt Flynn, wide receiver Golden Tate and kicker Steve Hauschka each got three cracks at the green with a wedge.

Flynn, who plays to an 8-handicap, was the winner with a shot that stopped 1 foot, 7 inches from the flag.

"I had no pressure and I got three shots," said Flynn, who blocked out the running commentary by Clampett, who doubles as a TV golf commentator. "The first two were terrible. Then I straightened it out. I don't want to do it again.

"I've learned to drown out the chatter from the peanut gallery. So I was focused in on the hole."

Said Clampett: "You know he's been playing a lot of golf this offseason."

Clampett finished second at 6 feet, 2 inches, followed by Tate at 8 feet, 8 inches, Hauschka at 21 feet and Jones at 21 feet, 8 inches.

--Paul Lawrie of Scotland clinched a spot on the European team for the Ryder Cup without hitting a shot.

The Euros employ two lists to determine the automatic qualifiers for the team, the World list and the European list, and when Sergio Garcia captured the rain-delayed Wyndham Classic two weeks ago, the math secured Lawrie's spot on the Euro list.

"It's nice and absolutely done," said the 43-year-old Lawrie, who last played in the Ryder Cup in 1999 at Brookline. "So chuffed to be in the team. It's been a long time. It's been 13 years since I played last time, so can't wait.

"There have been older players that have played in the Ryder Cup and I'm 43, but it's unique not to have played in it so long and to come back at that age and qualify."

Garcia locked up a spot by winning the Wyndham, jumping to sixth on the World points list but No. 3 among those not among the top five on the European list. The top five on each list qualify.

Lawrie, who won the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie, celebrated by winning the Johnnie Walker Classic last week at Gleneagles in Scotland. Earlier in the year, he captured the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

--Chris Williams, a senior at the University of Washington, was selected to receive the sixth Mark H. McCormack Medal by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

The medal, named for the late founder of IMG, is awarded to the top-ranked amateur golfer at the conclusion of the amateur season and following the U.S. and European amateur championships.

Along with the medal, Williams received exemptions into the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion and the Open Championship at Muirfield.

"I don't think about the rankings or look at them very often," said Williams, a native of Moscow, Idaho. "This was a surprise and a shock to me when I learned that I had won."

Williams, who has been the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world for much of the summer, held on to the top spot by finishing seventh in stroke play at the United States Amateur Championship two weeks ago and advancing to the quarterfinals in match play before losing.

In addition to posting a 3-1 record in the Palmer Cup matches, Williams won the NCAA Southwest Regional, captured the stroke-play and match-play portions of the Western Amateur Championship and claimed the Washington Amateur Championship.

Williams' former teammate at Washington, Nick Taylor, claimed the McCormack Medal in 2009.

--Scott Gump, who played 18 years on the PGA Tour and what is now known as the Web.com Tour, has been joined the men's golf coaching staff at the University of Notre Dame as an assistant.

The 46-year-old Gump replaces Steve Colnitis, who resigned after seven seasons with the Irish on the staff of Jim Kubinski, who is beginning his eighth season as head coach at Notre Dame.

"What an exciting time it has been for me to be able to join the Notre Dame family," Gump said. "I was fortunate to play professional golf for over 20 years, and when my playing side was winding down, I started looking forward to a new chapter in my life.

"To be chosen as the assistant golf coach at Notre Dame, with its traditions, facilities and support systems, is just fantastic."

Gump, who played college golf at Miami (Fla.), earned his PGA Tour card in 1991 and made 329 starts on the PGA Tour, never winning but finishing second three times. He won three titles on the Web.com Tour.

Previously, Gump served as a coach and instructor at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy from 2009 to 2012.

--Spencer Levin withdrew before the start of the Barclays, opener of the PGA Tour playoffs, last week because of the sudden death of his 28-year-old stepbrother, Blake Wiklund, in Sacramento, Calif.

"The Levin family is touched by and appreciative of the ongoing support they have received," said Kevin Canning, Levin's agent at Legacy Agency, in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

"Spencer will be returning to the PGA Tour as soon as time and family will allow."

Levin was 45th in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the playoffs.

--The Champions Tour announced an addition to its schedule for next season with the creation the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill.

The tournament is scheduled for June 21-23, 2013.

"I'm really juiced about it," said Jeff Sluman, a native of Chicago who still lives in the area. "We can't wait to get back here.

"With the BMW (Championship, on the PGA Tour) moving around so much, there's not a lot of golf around here. We're filling a little bit of a void, and we look forward to having a great event."

The 54-hole event for 81 Champions Tour players will include a pro-am.

North Shore opened in 1924 and was host to the 1933 U.S. Open.

--Rory McIlory will not play in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which pits the four major winners, at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda in October because of a scheduling conflict, the Bermuda Royal Gazette reported.

Before winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, McIlory had committed to the Volvo Masters in Shanghai, which begins on Oct. 25, the day after the Grand Slam ends.

As defending PGA Grand Slam champion, Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion, is the first alternate and was expected to inform organizers early this week if he will play in the tournament again.

Last October, Bradley defeated McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Darren Clarke.

Graeme McDowell is next in line because he had the best record in the majors of a non-winner this season. He tied for 12th in the Masters, tied for second in the U.S. Open, tied for fifth in the Open Championship and tied for 11th in the PGA Championship.

PGA officials confirmed that Bubba Watson (Masters), Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (Open Championship) are expected to play in the Grand Slam of Golf.

Watson and Simpson will be playing in the event for the first time while Els will be playing for the fourth time, having won in 2010 in Bermuda and 1997 in Hawaii.

Tiger Woods has won the event, which was first played in 1979, seven times, and Greg Norman won three times.

--Lucas Glover is scheduled for surgery on his right knee on Sept. 5 and could miss the rest of the PGA Tour season.

Glover injured the knee while paddle boarding in Hawaii the week of the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He withdrew from the tournament and missed the next two months because of what was diagnosed as a strain.

However, he was forced to withdraw midway through the third round of the Wyndham Championship two weeks ago because of pain in his knee. A doctor's examination revealed torn meniscus cartilage.

"Surgery was never on the table before," said Glover, who has won three times on the PGA Tour, including the 2009 U.S. Open. "Swing-wise it never came up and none of the doctors felt like it was needed. The Wyndham was the first time I didn't feel like my footwork was good and I don't think the knee could take it.

"I don't have any problem walking, it's when my right knee goes down and to the left, which is the first motion in my downswing. It feels like my kneecap is going to explode ... I'm looking at it as an opportunity to make sure it's 100 percent."

In 16 starts this season, Glover made the cut only six times. His best finish was a tie for 46th at the Memorial tournament.

Glover, who missed the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career, could be back for the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World, which he won in 2005.

However, it's more likely he will wait until 2013 to return.
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