Notebook: Car wreck claims life of Federal Way golfer

One of the state's most promising high-school golfers died Monday after being involved in an auto accident Sunday afternoon on his way to practice at North Shore Golf Course in Tacoma.

Lucas "Luke" Johnson, 18, finished second in his age division last week after an opening-round 10-under-par 61 in the Washington Junior Golf Association Championship at Downriver Golf Course in Spokane.

Johnson, who would have been a senior at Federal Way High School, never regained consciousness after suffering a brain injury in a two-car crash in Federal Way. He was hit broadside by another vehicle after swerving to miss a van pulling onto the road. A Federal Way police spokesman said Johnson was driving faster than the speed limit.

A memorial service will be held today at 2:30 p.m. at the Brooklake Community Church in Federal Way.

"He was an awesome, great kid," said Dawn Dempsey, an assistant pro at North Shore. "We were all so happy for him about the 61. He was here Saturday night talking about it. ... He would have had a wonderful career in golf."


• Noted teacher Jim Flick, who conducted a clinic Tuesday with Jack Nicklaus at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, had this memorable remark about how good players aren't mechanical:

"Good players play golf using the club head. The average players play golf trying to turn their shoulders, drive their hips and shift their weight. ... They try to make perfect golf swings. Good players play golf using the head of the golf club. It's an art form. It's like a musician if you will — playing golf with the club head."

• The NEC Invitational begins three weeks from today at Sahalee.

The course is ready. PGA Tour agronomist Jay Sporl's report of last week said: "Overall, the golf course was in the best pre-tournament condition I have seen on any tournament course the last four years."

• The second annual Duel in the Desert will be Aug. 9-10 at the Moses Lake Country Club and feature Bob Goalby, 1968 Masters champion, and Ken Still of Tacoma, former Ryder Cup member and winner of three PGA Tour and three Senior Tour events.

They will conduct a clinic at 9 a.m. Aug. 10 and then be stationed at par-3 holes and hit with each group of amateurs competing in the tournament. Tournament berths remain open. For more information, call the Grant County Economic Development Council at 509-764-6579.

• The national Extreme Golf Championship will be Sept. 28 at 49 Degrees North ski area near Chewelah.

A qualifying tournament will be held at the resort Aug. 10. The defending champion is Peter "Mongo" Schory, an avalanche forecaster from Chewelah.

Extreme golfers carry only four clubs and play a rugged 10-hole mountain course. There are reduced penalties for lost balls, no dress code and no putting — just get the ball into a painted circle that is a minimum 20 feet in diameter. The championship will be shown on The Golf Channel.

Steve Kumek, 41, of Arlington scored a rare double-eagle 2 on the par-5, 545-yard 15th hole at Legion Memorial in Everett last week, hitting driver-driver.