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Flynn drops in
With one smooth swing, Matt Flynn plopped his way in the back-channel annuals of Seahawks history.
On his third attempt in a closest-to-the-pin “competition” after practice on Tuesday, the quarterback-turned-golfer dropped a wedge shot 1 foot, 7 inches from the flag that was 80 yards away on the practice field at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
The first to react were Bobby Clampett and Steve Jones, the professional golfers who are in town to compete in the Boeing Classic stop on the PGA Tour Champions tour this week at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. They would get one shot to try and better Flynn’s effort and all but conceded before taking their lone attempts.
“One foot, 7 inches, that’s pretty good. There aren’t going to be too many better than that this weekend,” Jones said, shaking his head.
Clampett came the closest, landing his shot 6 feet, 2 inches from the pin. Also in the competition were wide receiver Golden Tate (8-8) and kicker Steven Hauschka (21-0). Jones’ shot was eight inches farther than Hauschka’s best effort.
Flynn took his winning effort, the unofficial record in the annual event, in stride.
“I had no pressure, and I got three shots,” said Flynn, who carries an eight handicap. “The first two were terrible. Then I straightened it out. I don’t want to do it again.”
Clampett also doubles as a TV commentator, so while Flynn was taking his three swings he was providing play-by-play – or swing-by-swing – for a local TV reporter. And Clampett was not whispering.
“I’ve learned to drown out the chatter from the peanut gallery,” Flynn said. “So I was focused in on the hole.”
But Clampett wasn’t finished, even if the friendly competition was.
“First of all, I went two down-and-out routes over here – ran beautiful routes. I tell you what, Golden was really impressed with my down-and-out routes,” he cracked. “And Matt under threw me both times. Clearly it’s early in the season and his arms not quite loosened up yet.
“Because when you saw him step up and hit the wedge shot 1 foot, 7 inches, you know he’s been playing a lot of golf this offseason. Clearly, his golf game is in tip-top form.”
Fighting to maintain a straight face, Clampett added, “Honestly, I was watching the whole practice. Very impressed with the practice, first of all. And to watch Matt throw the ball, beautiful. I don’t know what it is. When the guys have the jersey on, he nails them right in the chest.”
Actually, the passes to Clampett between the end of practice and the start of the closest-to-the-pin event were on target. The receiver was not, which even Clampett had to concede.
“When us old-guy golfers go out for down-and-out patterns, he can’t even hit us,” Clampett said, smiling. “I think the deal is, he’s not used to guys running as slow as we run.”
Jones, meanwhile, also came away impressed.
“It’s great to see guys in the NFL playing golf and having good golf swings,” he said. “Pretty impressive.”