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Aaron Burrows
Yong Choi
Kyle Benson
Ryan Runge

Dustin Johnson captures 2016 PGA of America Player of the Year Award & Vardon Trophy

Dustin Johnson
Rob Schumacher | USA Today Sports Images
Johnson put the finishing touches on a banner season with the PGA of America Player of the Year Award and the Vardon Trophy.

CHASKA, Minn. – Dustin Johnson put the finishing touches on a banner season, earning his first PGA of America Player of the Year Award and the Vardon Trophy. The season-ending awards are presented by the PGA of America for excellence by a PGA TOUR professional.

Johnson, the reigning U.S. Open Champion, collected 90 points this year, while Jason Day finished with 74. Johnson and Day were each three-time winners this season.

Day lost his bid for the Vardon Trophy when he was forced to withdraw twice due to back issues, at the BMW Championship on Sept. 11, and at last week’s TOUR Championship. Adam Scott finished third with 54 points, followed by Jordan Spieth, the 2015 PGA Player of the Year/Vardon Trophy winner, and Rory McIlroy, the Fedex Cup/TOUR Champion, with 44 points each.

In one of the closest Vardon Trophy races in years, Johnson closed out the race with an adjusted scoring average of 69.172 based upon 87 complete rounds. Scott finished runner-up at 69.470, while Spieth was third (69.520) and Phil Mickelson fourth (69.582).

Overall, Johnson earned 30 points by winning the U.S. Open, and 20 combined points for wins in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW Championship. He also gained 20 points for leading the money list and 20 more for capturing the Vardon Trophy.

Day had 40 overall victory points, based upon the 20 earned for winning The Players Championship and 20 combined points earned for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship. He also earned 18 points for finishing second in money earnings and 16 points in scoring despite being penalized .20 for two incomplete rounds.

Since 1948, the PGA of America has honored the game’s best players with the PGA Player of the Year Award. It is presented to the top TOUR professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings, and scoring averages. Points for the 2015-16 season began with the Frys.com Open on Oct. 18, and concluded Sept. 25, at the TOUR Championship.

Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by the PGA of America in honor of legendary British golfer Harry Vardon, is awarded annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA TOUR. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.

The PGA TOUR also recognizes its annual Player of the Year, with the winner announced in early October, determined by a vote of the membership.


Series: PGA

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 11:36 a.m.

CHASKA, Minn. – Dustin Johnson put the finishing touches on a banner season, earning his first PGA of America Player of the Year Award and the Vardon Trophy. The season-ending awards are presented by the PGA of America for excellence by a PGA TOUR professional.

Johnson, the reigning U.S. Open Champion, collected 90 points this year, while Jason Day finished with 74. Johnson and Day were each three-time winners this season.

Day lost his bid for the Vardon Trophy when he was forced to withdraw twice due to back issues, at the BMW Championship on Sept. 11, and at last week’s TOUR Championship. Adam Scott finished third with 54 points, followed by Jordan Spieth, the 2015 PGA Player of the Year/Vardon Trophy winner, and Rory McIlroy, the Fedex Cup/TOUR Champion, with 44 points each.

In one of the closest Vardon Trophy races in years, Johnson closed out the race with an adjusted scoring average of 69.172 based upon 87 complete rounds. Scott finished runner-up at 69.470, while Spieth was third (69.520) and Phil Mickelson fourth (69.582).

Overall, Johnson earned 30 points by winning the U.S. Open, and 20 combined points for wins in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW Championship. He also gained 20 points for leading the money list and 20 more for capturing the Vardon Trophy.

Day had 40 overall victory points, based upon the 20 earned for winning The Players Championship and 20 combined points earned for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship. He also earned 18 points for finishing second in money earnings and 16 points in scoring despite being penalized .20 for two incomplete rounds.

Since 1948, the PGA of America has honored the game’s best players with the PGA Player of the Year Award. It is presented to the top TOUR professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings, and scoring averages. Points for the 2015-16 season began with the Frys.com Open on Oct. 18, and concluded Sept. 25, at the TOUR Championship.

Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by the PGA of America in honor of legendary British golfer Harry Vardon, is awarded annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA TOUR. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.

The PGA TOUR also recognizes its annual Player of the Year, with the winner announced in early October, determined by a vote of the membership.


Arnold Palmer left hundreds of courses as part of his legacy

The K Club (Palmer Course)
The PGA of America
The Palmer Course at The K Club in Straffan, Ireland, hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006.

Few people did more to grow the game of golf than Arnold Palmer.

Fewer did more to provide places to play it.

The charismatic champion who died Sunday night of complications from heart problems was every bit as successful at designing courses as he was conquering them. From Palmer's first design in 1963, the back nine at his beloved boyhood course in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to his recently completed project in Brazil, "The King" was instrumental in shaping the way people around the world enjoy the game.

So prolific was Palmer that computer software accompanying a video game that allowed players at home to design their own layouts was called the "Arnold Palmer Course Designer." And for his respected design career spanning more than 300 courses, Palmer was giving the Donald Ross Award for lifetime achievement from the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Here are some of his memorable designs, courses that will no doubt carry on his legacy.

KAPALUA RESORT (BAY COURSE) , Lahaina, Hawaii

Teaming with Francis Duane, Palmer helped kick off a golf boom on the Hawaiian islands when he opened the first course at Kapalua in 1974. The meandering track with seaside vistas was host to the Kapalua LPGA Classic, and is beloved by amateurs for such holes as the cliff-side par-3 fifth.

BAY HILL CLUB AND LODGE , Orlando, Florida

The first 18 holes were designed by Dick Wilson in 1961, but the course has been tweaked so much by Palmer over the years that he might as well have laid it out. Palmer bought the course in 1974, and it has been the site of a PGA Tour event since 1979 that has become synonymous with him.

TPC BOSTON , Norton, Massachusetts

Palmer built the original course in 2003, and Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon reworked parts of it later, but regardless the layout is considered one of the best on the PGA Tour. It is the host venue for the Deutsche Bank Championship, one of the events in the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs.

BAY CREEK RESORT (PALMER COURSE) , Cape Charles, Virginia

Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will be forever linked, so perhaps it was inevitable that they would have courses at the same resort. Palmer's design came first in 2003, the layout hard along the Chesapeake Bay featuring idyllic views, soaring gulls and pathways made from sea shells.

RUNNING Y RANCH , Klamath Falls, Oregon

Palmer featured everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer, including meadows and wetlands. But it is the majestic views of the Cascade Mountains that keep people coming back. Palmer said his vision was "to leave the land as it lies," and he considered Running Y Ranch to be one of his best designs.

TRALEE GOLF CLUB , County Kerry, Ireland

His first European course, which opened in 1984, Palmer sculpted a layout that teeters on the edge of a windy point high over the sea. The Academy Award-winning film "Ryan's Daughter," starring Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles, even used the striking backdrop of the golf course for some of its filming.

TURTLE BAY RESORT (PALMER COURSE) , Oahu, Hawaii

The resort itself is a popular filming location or movies and TV shows, but it's the golf courses — one designed by Palmer, the other by George Fazio — that draw players from around the world. The course is set along the famed North Shore, home to Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay.

CHUNG SHAN HOT SPRING GOLF CLUB , Zhongshan, China

Other designs may be more memorable, and certainly more striking, but few have been more important to growing the game. Chung Shan Hot Spring was the first course in China when it opened in 1984, and to this day it remains a popular track in the city of 3 million.

HALF MOON BAY (OLD COURSE) , Half Moon Bay, California

Pebble Beach and Cypress Point may be more revered, but the views from the 405-yard par-4 finishing hole at Half Moon Bay are every bit as striking. The rest of the course, built in 1973, has a parkland feel, but the 18th towers on a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean.

BREEZY POINT RESORT (DEACON'S LODGE) , Breezy Point, Minnesota

There are other courses that deserve to be on a list of Palmer's best, from his courses at PGA West and Oasis Golf Club, to his layout at Kildare Hotel and Country Club in Ireland. But there is only one that is name for his father, Deacon, a tranquil layout that he always considered among his favorites.

REUNION RESORT AND CLUB (PALMER COURSE) , Kissimmee, Florida

The only resort with courses by Palmer, Nicklaus and Tom Watson, it is the rolling layout that opened in 2004 that stands out. Palmer's course is carved of a former citrus grove and is home to heron, coyotes, wild turkey, red tail hawks, tortoises and armadillos, among other species of wildlife.

This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Series: News Feature

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016 | 9:59 a.m.

Few people did more to grow the game of golf than Arnold Palmer.

Fewer did more to provide places to play it.

The charismatic champion who died Sunday night of complications from heart problems was every bit as successful at designing courses as he was conquering them. From Palmer's first design in 1963, the back nine at his beloved boyhood course in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to his recently completed project in Brazil, "The King" was instrumental in shaping the way people around the world enjoy the game.

So prolific was Palmer that computer software accompanying a video game that allowed players at home to design their own layouts was called the "Arnold Palmer Course Designer." And for his respected design career spanning more than 300 courses, Palmer was giving the Donald Ross Award for lifetime achievement from the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Here are some of his memorable designs, courses that will no doubt carry on his legacy.

KAPALUA RESORT (BAY COURSE) , Lahaina, Hawaii

Teaming with Francis Duane, Palmer helped kick off a golf boom on the Hawaiian islands when he opened the first course at Kapalua in 1974. The meandering track with seaside vistas was host to the Kapalua LPGA Classic, and is beloved by amateurs for such holes as the cliff-side par-3 fifth.

BAY HILL CLUB AND LODGE , Orlando, Florida

The first 18 holes were designed by Dick Wilson in 1961, but the course has been tweaked so much by Palmer over the years that he might as well have laid it out. Palmer bought the course in 1974, and it has been the site of a PGA Tour event since 1979 that has become synonymous with him.

TPC BOSTON , Norton, Massachusetts

Palmer built the original course in 2003, and Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon reworked parts of it later, but regardless the layout is considered one of the best on the PGA Tour. It is the host venue for the Deutsche Bank Championship, one of the events in the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs.

BAY CREEK RESORT (PALMER COURSE) , Cape Charles, Virginia

Palmer and Jack Nicklaus will be forever linked, so perhaps it was inevitable that they would have courses at the same resort. Palmer's design came first in 2003, the layout hard along the Chesapeake Bay featuring idyllic views, soaring gulls and pathways made from sea shells.

RUNNING Y RANCH , Klamath Falls, Oregon

Palmer featured everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer, including meadows and wetlands. But it is the majestic views of the Cascade Mountains that keep people coming back. Palmer said his vision was "to leave the land as it lies," and he considered Running Y Ranch to be one of his best designs.

TRALEE GOLF CLUB , County Kerry, Ireland

His first European course, which opened in 1984, Palmer sculpted a layout that teeters on the edge of a windy point high over the sea. The Academy Award-winning film "Ryan's Daughter," starring Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles, even used the striking backdrop of the golf course for some of its filming.

TURTLE BAY RESORT (PALMER COURSE) , Oahu, Hawaii

The resort itself is a popular filming location or movies and TV shows, but it's the golf courses — one designed by Palmer, the other by George Fazio — that draw players from around the world. The course is set along the famed North Shore, home to Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay.

CHUNG SHAN HOT SPRING GOLF CLUB , Zhongshan, China

Other designs may be more memorable, and certainly more striking, but few have been more important to growing the game. Chung Shan Hot Spring was the first course in China when it opened in 1984, and to this day it remains a popular track in the city of 3 million.

HALF MOON BAY (OLD COURSE) , Half Moon Bay, California

Pebble Beach and Cypress Point may be more revered, but the views from the 405-yard par-4 finishing hole at Half Moon Bay are every bit as striking. The rest of the course, built in 1973, has a parkland feel, but the 18th towers on a bluff high above the Pacific Ocean.

BREEZY POINT RESORT (DEACON'S LODGE) , Breezy Point, Minnesota

There are other courses that deserve to be on a list of Palmer's best, from his courses at PGA West and Oasis Golf Club, to his layout at Kildare Hotel and Country Club in Ireland. But there is only one that is name for his father, Deacon, a tranquil layout that he always considered among his favorites.

REUNION RESORT AND CLUB (PALMER COURSE) , Kissimmee, Florida

The only resort with courses by Palmer, Nicklaus and Tom Watson, it is the rolling layout that opened in 2004 that stands out. Palmer's course is carved of a former citrus grove and is home to heron, coyotes, wild turkey, red tail hawks, tortoises and armadillos, among other species of wildlife.

This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Remembering some of Arnold Palmer's greatest wins

Arnold Palmer

If there was a single swing that made him "The King," the driver Arnold Palmer hit on the first hole at Cherry Hills was it.

Trailing by seven heading into the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open — and angered by a sports writer who, during a lunch break, told him he had no chance at a comeback — Palmer pulled the persimmon wood out on the tee box of the downhill, 346-yard hole. Palmer lashed at the balata-covered ball, which flew through the thin air, into the rough for one small hop, then tumbled onto the green.

He made birdie and his greatest comeback was underway. He shot 65 to leapfrog a young amateur named Jack Nicklaus and a legend named Ben Hogan, while leaving the third-round leader, Mike Souchak, three shots behind.

Today, there's a plaque commemorating Palmer on the first tee box at Cherry Hills. Two years ago, when the PGA Tour stopped at the iconic course near Denver for a tournament, pros were given a chance to duplicate Palmer's shot using persimmon and balata, the way he did back in the day.

Nobody could do it.

As if there were any doubt: There is no other King.

Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. He was 87. He was admitted to UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh on Thursday for some cardiovascular work, then weakened.

His death brings back waves of memories of his finest performances, none more so that the comeback at Cherry Hills that came during an era when the final 36 holes were played on Saturday and the break between the third and fourth rounds was long enough to grab lunch.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Palmer asked sports writers Bob Drum and Dan Jenkins how far they thought a 65 might go in the final round. It would leave him at 280.

"Doesn't 280 always win the Open?" Palmer asked.

"Yeah, when Hogan shoots it," Jenkins replied.

Drum's response: "Won't do you a damn bit of good."

Palmer was so mad, he said, he couldn't finish his hamburger.

The exchange with Drum "set the fire off inside, not that it wasn't there," Palmer said. "All I know is, I was pretty" upset.

He hit a few practice shots, went to the first tee, and a few hours later, he had his third major championship and first at the U.S. Open.

Other victories Palmer will be long remembered for:

1954 U.S. Amateur:

A 24-year-old Palmer beat Bob Sweeney to win the National Amateur golf championship in Detroit, Michigan on August 28, 1954. The match pitted a graying millionaire playboy against the upstart Palmer in what many dubbed a battle of the classes.

1955 Canadian Open:

Palmer captured the Canadian Open championship, his first PGA Tour victory, at the Weston Golf Club. Palmer set a record that held for many years as the lowest score— he finished -23 — in Open history. To celebrate Weston's 75th anniversary in 1990, a Skins game was held featuring Arnold Palmer, Mark Calcavecchia, Ray Floyd and Dave Barr.

1958 Masters:

Palmer arrived at the Masters with eight titles but very little professional major championship experience. He had yet to play in a British Open or PGA Championship, and had finished tied for seventh a year earlier at the Masters. A third-round 68 vaulted him into a tie for the lead with Sam Snead.

Palmer and Ken Venturi, who was three strokes back, were paired for the final round, and Venturi trailed by just one stroke by the 12th hole. Then Palmer's tee shot to the par-3 hole landed behind the green and plugged. Palmer believed he was entitled to relief because the ball was embedded, and Venturi agreed.

But the rules official on the scene did not. He ruled Palmer had to play without relief. There was an argument, Palmer eventually played the ball and gouged it out of the turf, hitting a poor chip past the hole, then two-putting for a double-bogey 5.

Venturi had made par and assumed the lead. But Palmer announced he was playing a second ball and made par.

Venturi has always believed Palmer played the second ball incorrectly.

"There was never a question in my mind that I wasn't right about the 12th hole," said Palmer, who went on to win by a shot over Fred Hawkins and Doug Ford and by two over Venturi.

1960 Masters:

Palmer birdied the final two holes to win by one stroke over runner-up Ken Venturi. It was the second of Palmer's four Masters victories and the second of his seven major titles.

Palmer, age 30 at the time, also won the U.S. Open in 1960 and was the runner-up at the British Open.

Palmer was the sole leader after all four rounds and was the second wire-to-wire winner at the Masters, following Craig Wood in 1941. Subsequent wire-to-wire winners were Nicklaus in 1972, Raymond Floyd in 1976, and Jordan Spieth in 2015.

1961 British Open:

Palmer won the first of two consecutive British Open Championships by finishing one stroke ahead of Dai Rees. He'd been runner-up the year before in his first Open, but the 1961 victory was the fourth of his seven major titles. He was the first American to win the Claret Jug since Ben Hogan in 1953.

1962 Masters:

Palmer won the first three-way Masters playoff — beating defending champion Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald — for the third of his four titles at Augusta National. Palmer shot a 31 on the back nine to finish at 68 on Monday, three strokes ahead of runner-up Player. It was Nicklaus' first appearance at the Masters as a professional.

1962 British Open:

Palmer's second major championship of the year — and No. 6 of his career — was a runaway at the British Open at Troon Golf Club in Scotland. He finished at 12 under par, six shots ahead of runner-up Kel Nagle — and at least 13 strokes better than anyone else in the field.

1964 Masters:

Terrific from start to finish, Palmer easily wrapped up his fourth Masters title for his seventh — and final — major championship. No one had won four times at Augusta National until Palmer reached that number thanks to three rounds in the 60s, followed by a closing 70 that was plenty good enough: He beat runners-up Nicklaus and Dave Marr by six strokes.

This article was written by Eddie Pells and Jenna Fryer from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Eddie Pells & Jenna Fryer

Series: News Feature

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016 | 9:11 a.m.

If there was a single swing that made him "The King," the driver Arnold Palmer hit on the first hole at Cherry Hills was it.

Trailing by seven heading into the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open — and angered by a sports writer who, during a lunch break, told him he had no chance at a comeback — Palmer pulled the persimmon wood out on the tee box of the downhill, 346-yard hole. Palmer lashed at the balata-covered ball, which flew through the thin air, into the rough for one small hop, then tumbled onto the green.

He made birdie and his greatest comeback was underway. He shot 65 to leapfrog a young amateur named Jack Nicklaus and a legend named Ben Hogan, while leaving the third-round leader, Mike Souchak, three shots behind.

Today, there's a plaque commemorating Palmer on the first tee box at Cherry Hills. Two years ago, when the PGA Tour stopped at the iconic course near Denver for a tournament, pros were given a chance to duplicate Palmer's shot using persimmon and balata, the way he did back in the day.

Nobody could do it.

As if there were any doubt: There is no other King.

Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. He was 87. He was admitted to UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh on Thursday for some cardiovascular work, then weakened.

His death brings back waves of memories of his finest performances, none more so that the comeback at Cherry Hills that came during an era when the final 36 holes were played on Saturday and the break between the third and fourth rounds was long enough to grab lunch.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Palmer asked sports writers Bob Drum and Dan Jenkins how far they thought a 65 might go in the final round. It would leave him at 280.

"Doesn't 280 always win the Open?" Palmer asked.

"Yeah, when Hogan shoots it," Jenkins replied.

Drum's response: "Won't do you a damn bit of good."

Palmer was so mad, he said, he couldn't finish his hamburger.

The exchange with Drum "set the fire off inside, not that it wasn't there," Palmer said. "All I know is, I was pretty" upset.

He hit a few practice shots, went to the first tee, and a few hours later, he had his third major championship and first at the U.S. Open.

Other victories Palmer will be long remembered for:

1954 U.S. Amateur:

A 24-year-old Palmer beat Bob Sweeney to win the National Amateur golf championship in Detroit, Michigan on August 28, 1954. The match pitted a graying millionaire playboy against the upstart Palmer in what many dubbed a battle of the classes.

1955 Canadian Open:

Palmer captured the Canadian Open championship, his first PGA Tour victory, at the Weston Golf Club. Palmer set a record that held for many years as the lowest score— he finished -23 — in Open history. To celebrate Weston's 75th anniversary in 1990, a Skins game was held featuring Arnold Palmer, Mark Calcavecchia, Ray Floyd and Dave Barr.

1958 Masters:

Palmer arrived at the Masters with eight titles but very little professional major championship experience. He had yet to play in a British Open or PGA Championship, and had finished tied for seventh a year earlier at the Masters. A third-round 68 vaulted him into a tie for the lead with Sam Snead.

Palmer and Ken Venturi, who was three strokes back, were paired for the final round, and Venturi trailed by just one stroke by the 12th hole. Then Palmer's tee shot to the par-3 hole landed behind the green and plugged. Palmer believed he was entitled to relief because the ball was embedded, and Venturi agreed.

But the rules official on the scene did not. He ruled Palmer had to play without relief. There was an argument, Palmer eventually played the ball and gouged it out of the turf, hitting a poor chip past the hole, then two-putting for a double-bogey 5.

Venturi had made par and assumed the lead. But Palmer announced he was playing a second ball and made par.

Venturi has always believed Palmer played the second ball incorrectly.

"There was never a question in my mind that I wasn't right about the 12th hole," said Palmer, who went on to win by a shot over Fred Hawkins and Doug Ford and by two over Venturi.

1960 Masters:

Palmer birdied the final two holes to win by one stroke over runner-up Ken Venturi. It was the second of Palmer's four Masters victories and the second of his seven major titles.

Palmer, age 30 at the time, also won the U.S. Open in 1960 and was the runner-up at the British Open.

Palmer was the sole leader after all four rounds and was the second wire-to-wire winner at the Masters, following Craig Wood in 1941. Subsequent wire-to-wire winners were Nicklaus in 1972, Raymond Floyd in 1976, and Jordan Spieth in 2015.

1961 British Open:

Palmer won the first of two consecutive British Open Championships by finishing one stroke ahead of Dai Rees. He'd been runner-up the year before in his first Open, but the 1961 victory was the fourth of his seven major titles. He was the first American to win the Claret Jug since Ben Hogan in 1953.

1962 Masters:

Palmer won the first three-way Masters playoff — beating defending champion Gary Player and Dow Finsterwald — for the third of his four titles at Augusta National. Palmer shot a 31 on the back nine to finish at 68 on Monday, three strokes ahead of runner-up Player. It was Nicklaus' first appearance at the Masters as a professional.

1962 British Open:

Palmer's second major championship of the year — and No. 6 of his career — was a runaway at the British Open at Troon Golf Club in Scotland. He finished at 12 under par, six shots ahead of runner-up Kel Nagle — and at least 13 strokes better than anyone else in the field.

1964 Masters:

Terrific from start to finish, Palmer easily wrapped up his fourth Masters title for his seventh — and final — major championship. No one had won four times at Augusta National until Palmer reached that number thanks to three rounds in the 60s, followed by a closing 70 that was plenty good enough: He beat runners-up Nicklaus and Dave Marr by six strokes.

This article was written by Eddie Pells and Jenna Fryer from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


A look back at Arnold Palmer's last round at The Masters

Arnold Palmer
The PGA of America
Arnold Palmer competed in 50 Masters Tournaments during his illustrious career, his last coming in 2004.

The roar interrupted Michael Campbell's thoughts, and he risked whiplash as his head jerked in search of the cause. He peered from Augusta National's sixth green toward the elevated tee, his face twisted into a question mark.

Arnie.

Of course.

Arnold Palmer bade farewell to the Masters on a sun-splashed Friday afternoon, and the emotion that accompanied his final tournament tour matched that he stirred on his way to winning four championships two generations ago.

"He is still the King," longtime fan Donald Williamson said. "Write that. I don't care what anyone says about Elvis, Richard Petty or anybody else. Arnie is the King."

Those who accompanied Palmer on his final 18 holes in his 50th Masters surely agreed. Those who waited at tees and greens for his passing by concurred with shouts of praise to the 74-year-old icon. Cheers and applause thundered through the pines on his 5-hour, 20-minute journey, and he responded with thumbs-up signals for the adoring fans.

He veered to the ropes to shake hands with friends. He waved. That trademark smile never left his face.

The Masters made golf and Arnold Palmer made the Masters . He oozed charm, and his charisma brought the game from the country clubs to the common people. He connected with the masses like few others who have graced the world of games, and now the hour had come to say goodbye.

"I'm through. I've had it. I'm done, cooked, washed up, finished, whatever you want to say," he said, laughing. Then serious: "It's time."

Full of memories. Yeah, it is time. He has not really competed for years, and that mattered not at all for all those who shared the memories of his triumphs and train wrecks.

With the setting sun for a backdrop, Arnold Palmer climbed the 18th fairway for the final time shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, and the memories came flooding back.

"Use your imagination, and you will understand" he said. "I thought about how many times I walked up that 18th fairway. I can think of the four times I won the Masters . I can think of a couple of times that I didn't win that I felt like I should have won.

"I can think of the fans that have supported me. I listened to them, and of course most of them have something to say when I'm walking up that fairway. Emotion? A lot. Sometimes I just get tired and emotion overrules and runs away with me. I'm not upset about that."

Nor should he be. That has been his trademark. He wore his feelings on his sleeve. He won spectacularly and lost spectacularly. He never saw a shot he did not think he could hit successfully.

Palmer made double-bogey on 18 to lose one Masters by a stroke and finished birdie-birdie to win another by a single shot. He won in a playoff and he won in a walk.

The music stopped in terms of competing for championships, but the band played on in his love affair with Augusta, his fans and his family.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Fifty Masters. That's what he wanted. That's what he got Friday. And now the time had come to say goodbye.

First in their hearts. Although tournament officials stopped posting his score on each hole, the record book will show he played his final Masters in 84-84-168 and missed the cut by a mile. Don't be deceived; follow his steps around Augusta National for the final time in Masters competition and the reception says he battled for a prominent place on the leader board.

Even shin splints from walking the hilly course that slowed his step and the snake on the 13th hole did not spoil his day.

"I started through the ditch and a snake about this long" -- maybe four feet, spreading his hands like the fisherman showing the big one that got away -- "and I almost stepped on him," Palmer said. "I'm not sure if it was a moccasin or not. ...

"Well, if I had felt a little tired, I didn't then. I came out of there and I was flying."

He often flew around Augusta National's emerald acres and rarely disappointed. Maybe the last time came 10 or 12 years ago, and that day he showed another generation what they had missed.

Palmer came to the 10th tee in the second round furious with his game, and never mind that he had reached his 60s. By golly, he refused to accept the shots that had been coming off his clubs.

Almost miraculously, he suddenly could not miss. Shots zeroed in on the pins, and he birdied 10, 11 and 13. He barely missed another on 12, made par on 14 and sent a 3-iron second shot winging to the green on 15. He made eagle, and Arnie's Army marched again.

The roars of achievement distinctive to Augusta National assembled the troops, and he sent his tee shot on the par-3 16th right at the flag. On the final two holes, perfect drives left him 7-iron second shots, and visions of the back-nine 31 he shot to win the 1962 playoff looked very real.

Alas, he three-putted 16 and the irons betrayed him on the finishing holes, leaving him shaking his head.

What would he have done a generation earlier?

"I would have hit 'em straight at the flag," said the Arnold Palmer the sports world treasured.

Chances at birdie. The length that club officials added to combat today's sluggers and their high-powered equipment bodes ill for all older players, and Palmer often needed to hit fairway woods on his second shots to reach greens on par-4s. Still, he badly wanted at least one birdie on Friday's auld lang syne round.

He had his chances, too -- missing from 3 feet on the sixth hole, about 12 feet on the 12th and from maybe 10 feet on 15. But that hardly mattered in the grand scheme.

"The fact is that one of the things I want to do was what I did today, and that was to finish 50 years at Augusta," he said. "All my family is here, and that has never happened before at any golf tournament. That's very special. It's something I wanted. I just wanted them to see what happens."

What happened was the expected parade of affection for a sports treasure.

One of the most touching moments came at midafternoon. Jack Nicklaus, another of the game's old masters , arrived at the 16th green about the time that Palmer walked down the hill to the nearby sixth green. The double-barreled salute would warm the coldest heart.

Afterward, Nicklaus, who shot 75-75-150 and missed the cut by two strokes, made noise about this being his last Masters . But he always says that and later backtracked a bit: "It will depend on how I'm playing" next spring.

But Palmer will not be in the field, and in a way golf will be poorer.

Listen to Davis Love III.

"I had a great nine-hole practice round with him Wednesday," Love said. "That will be the highlight of my week and one of my Masters memories that I always will treasure."

Golf fans everywhere share the feeling.

This article was written by Bob Spear from The State and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Bob Spear

Series: News Feature

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016 | 8:33 a.m.

The roar interrupted Michael Campbell's thoughts, and he risked whiplash as his head jerked in search of the cause. He peered from Augusta National's sixth green toward the elevated tee, his face twisted into a question mark.

Arnie.

Of course.

Arnold Palmer bade farewell to the Masters on a sun-splashed Friday afternoon, and the emotion that accompanied his final tournament tour matched that he stirred on his way to winning four championships two generations ago.

"He is still the King," longtime fan Donald Williamson said. "Write that. I don't care what anyone says about Elvis, Richard Petty or anybody else. Arnie is the King."

Those who accompanied Palmer on his final 18 holes in his 50th Masters surely agreed. Those who waited at tees and greens for his passing by concurred with shouts of praise to the 74-year-old icon. Cheers and applause thundered through the pines on his 5-hour, 20-minute journey, and he responded with thumbs-up signals for the adoring fans.

He veered to the ropes to shake hands with friends. He waved. That trademark smile never left his face.

The Masters made golf and Arnold Palmer made the Masters . He oozed charm, and his charisma brought the game from the country clubs to the common people. He connected with the masses like few others who have graced the world of games, and now the hour had come to say goodbye.

"I'm through. I've had it. I'm done, cooked, washed up, finished, whatever you want to say," he said, laughing. Then serious: "It's time."

Full of memories. Yeah, it is time. He has not really competed for years, and that mattered not at all for all those who shared the memories of his triumphs and train wrecks.

With the setting sun for a backdrop, Arnold Palmer climbed the 18th fairway for the final time shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, and the memories came flooding back.

"Use your imagination, and you will understand" he said. "I thought about how many times I walked up that 18th fairway. I can think of the four times I won the Masters . I can think of a couple of times that I didn't win that I felt like I should have won.

"I can think of the fans that have supported me. I listened to them, and of course most of them have something to say when I'm walking up that fairway. Emotion? A lot. Sometimes I just get tired and emotion overrules and runs away with me. I'm not upset about that."

Nor should he be. That has been his trademark. He wore his feelings on his sleeve. He won spectacularly and lost spectacularly. He never saw a shot he did not think he could hit successfully.

Palmer made double-bogey on 18 to lose one Masters by a stroke and finished birdie-birdie to win another by a single shot. He won in a playoff and he won in a walk.

The music stopped in terms of competing for championships, but the band played on in his love affair with Augusta, his fans and his family.

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

Fifty Masters. That's what he wanted. That's what he got Friday. And now the time had come to say goodbye.

First in their hearts. Although tournament officials stopped posting his score on each hole, the record book will show he played his final Masters in 84-84-168 and missed the cut by a mile. Don't be deceived; follow his steps around Augusta National for the final time in Masters competition and the reception says he battled for a prominent place on the leader board.

Even shin splints from walking the hilly course that slowed his step and the snake on the 13th hole did not spoil his day.

"I started through the ditch and a snake about this long" -- maybe four feet, spreading his hands like the fisherman showing the big one that got away -- "and I almost stepped on him," Palmer said. "I'm not sure if it was a moccasin or not. ...

"Well, if I had felt a little tired, I didn't then. I came out of there and I was flying."

He often flew around Augusta National's emerald acres and rarely disappointed. Maybe the last time came 10 or 12 years ago, and that day he showed another generation what they had missed.

Palmer came to the 10th tee in the second round furious with his game, and never mind that he had reached his 60s. By golly, he refused to accept the shots that had been coming off his clubs.

Almost miraculously, he suddenly could not miss. Shots zeroed in on the pins, and he birdied 10, 11 and 13. He barely missed another on 12, made par on 14 and sent a 3-iron second shot winging to the green on 15. He made eagle, and Arnie's Army marched again.

The roars of achievement distinctive to Augusta National assembled the troops, and he sent his tee shot on the par-3 16th right at the flag. On the final two holes, perfect drives left him 7-iron second shots, and visions of the back-nine 31 he shot to win the 1962 playoff looked very real.

Alas, he three-putted 16 and the irons betrayed him on the finishing holes, leaving him shaking his head.

What would he have done a generation earlier?

"I would have hit 'em straight at the flag," said the Arnold Palmer the sports world treasured.

Chances at birdie. The length that club officials added to combat today's sluggers and their high-powered equipment bodes ill for all older players, and Palmer often needed to hit fairway woods on his second shots to reach greens on par-4s. Still, he badly wanted at least one birdie on Friday's auld lang syne round.

He had his chances, too -- missing from 3 feet on the sixth hole, about 12 feet on the 12th and from maybe 10 feet on 15. But that hardly mattered in the grand scheme.

"The fact is that one of the things I want to do was what I did today, and that was to finish 50 years at Augusta," he said. "All my family is here, and that has never happened before at any golf tournament. That's very special. It's something I wanted. I just wanted them to see what happens."

What happened was the expected parade of affection for a sports treasure.

One of the most touching moments came at midafternoon. Jack Nicklaus, another of the game's old masters , arrived at the 16th green about the time that Palmer walked down the hill to the nearby sixth green. The double-barreled salute would warm the coldest heart.

Afterward, Nicklaus, who shot 75-75-150 and missed the cut by two strokes, made noise about this being his last Masters . But he always says that and later backtracked a bit: "It will depend on how I'm playing" next spring.

But Palmer will not be in the field, and in a way golf will be poorer.

Listen to Davis Love III.

"I had a great nine-hole practice round with him Wednesday," Love said. "That will be the highlight of my week and one of my Masters memories that I always will treasure."

Golf fans everywhere share the feeling.

This article was written by Bob Spear from The State and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Arnold Palmer changed the game of golf and won the hearts of many

Arnold Palmer
Rob Schumacher | USA Today Sports

Golf will never be the same for two reasons. First, that Arnold Palmer lived. Second, that Arnold Palmer has died.

The single most important figure in the history of the game -- you can argue with me about this if you want, but you'd be wrong -- passed away Sunday at the age of 87. It's disorienting thinking about a world without him.

Golf -- actually, all of sports -- as we know it today owes everything to Palmer. It was Palmer who created the modern image of sporting celebrity. It was Palmer who invented the concept of sports marketing with a handshake deal with Mark McCormack. It was Palmer who made golf a viable television entity. It was Palmer who invented the idea of the modern Grand Slam. It was Palmer who set the bar for civility and grace and manners that every athlete today can only aspire to achieve.

And closer to home here in Augusta, it was Arnold Palmer who made the Masters Tournament the Masters.

"He's done so much for us," said three-time major winner Nick Price. "He made the Masters. I'm telling you, he made the Masters. There's no doubt. When he won in 1958, the tournament was only 24 years old."

Arnie was born in Latrobe, Pa., on Sept. 10, 1929, but Arnie's Army was born in 1958 at Augusta. The soldiers from nearby Camp Gordon were offered free admission to the Masters for the first time and the club recruited them to run the leaderboards. The servicemen quickly embraced the charismatic Coast Guard veteran, swarming in his wake as he charged to a one-shot victory over Ken Venturi.

By the next year, "Arnie's Army" showed up on one of the Masters boards, and his legion swelled everywhere golf is played as he won four green jackets every even-numbered year between 1958-64. His era of dominance happened to coincide with the advent of golf on television, and his magnetism came through on camera.

"When he came on, and television came on, it was a mix made in heaven," Price said. "Arnold Palmer, television and golf. Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus obviously did a lot, but it was Arnold who had that magnetism that brought everyone together."

Palmer connected with the golfing public like no player ever had. You were simply drawn to his energy and charisma and bravado. He was a pin-up idol in a buttoned-up sport. Only Seve Ballesteros from a European perspective had a similar kind of impact on the sport. Even Tiger Woods as the biggest sports celebrity in the world could not match Palmer's universal appeal.

Ask any player -- past or present -- what Arnie meant to the game and they will wax on. Chances are, every one of them received a signed letter from Palmer at some point congratulating them on a victory or milestone achievement in their own careers and lives.

"I would say what hasn't he done for the game would be easier to explain," said former PGA Tour winner Billy Kratzert, an eight-time Masters participant. "He might have been looking at the whole crowd, but when he looked over there you kind of felt he was looking at you directly. To have that sense connecting to the people, that was huge. You connect to the people, you win major championships, you win other golf tournaments, you're friends with presidents, celebrities like Bob Hope, club companies, first guy with a jet. What hasn't he done? Everyone said Tiger (Woods) made golf cool, well that's probably true. But the guy who piqued the interest of everyone about the game and brought it to where the golf is pretty cool (was Arnie). I'm watching this guy hit from under the tree and making birdie, he's got that Pall Mall hanging out of his mouth and he's hanging around Jackie Gleason and Bob Hope, that's pretty cool."

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

There's a reason Palmer is still one of the top paid golfers decades after he stopped competing.

"He made the modern game," said two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North. "He's the man that put us on the map. We said for every dollar we make, we should give twenty-five cents to Arnold."

We were blessed to have Palmer grace the game in the most public fashion for nearly seven decades. Long after he stopped being competitive, his mere presence at a tournament or in a pro-am drew us to him like moths to a flame. Even the most cynical media members stood up and applauded him as he tearfully exited the U.S. Open at his hometown Oakmont in 1994.

In 1988 in Richmond, Va., I went and saw Arnold Palmer win his last tournament at a Senior Tour event called the Crestar Classic. That was a year before I became a professional sports writer and had never met him, but I knew if The King was leading a golf tournament in your hometown you damn sure better show up and watch him.

Like so many of us who've been blessed to see him year after year in places like Augusta and Bay Hill and St. Andrews, Palmer's stature grew every time he showed up. He never treated anyone with anything but respect and dignity. Old sportswriting friends like Ron Green Sr. might have traced their relationships with Palmer back to having breakfast with him at the Richmond Hotel before the 1958 Masters, but he treated even his newest acquaintances with the same warm smile and thoughtfulness.

It's already hard trying to comprehend an April without Arnie at the Champions Dinner or on that first tee at Augusta. Many of us have made a point of getting in place early on Thursday morning just to see him make that familiar lash at the golf ball. When he wasn't fit enough to hit a tee shot this year, we still flocked to the first tee to see him just sitting there. I stood not more than 10 feet from his chair and he looked over toward the ropes and stared me straight in the eyes and gave a thumbs up. He might have been looking at anyone around me, but that image will forever burn in our memories as a last precious gift from The King.

It's another personal story that stands out on a Sunday night when the reality that Mr. Palmer is no longer with us. It was at a reception on the eve of the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland introducing some already forgotten golf course his company designed. Palmer stood up to give a little speech, and as was often the case his emotions got the better of him. He was already tearing up as he toasted his late wife, Winnie, and his new bride, Kit. Then for some reason he thanked all of us.

"I've been lucky to live the best life any man could wish for," Palmer said as we all had something in our eyes.

Palmer indeed lived a blessed life. He didn't win as many majors as his Big Three mates Nicklaus or Player, but he won more hearts than any golfer who's ever lived.

Yet we are the ones who were blessed to have Arnold Palmer around for so long as the game's greatest ambassador. No one can ever replace him, but every lesson he left behind will live forever in our hearts and in the game.

Instead of saying goodbye, we should simply say "Thank you Arnold Palmer."

This article was written by Scott Michaux from The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

By
Scott Michaux

Series: News Feature

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016 | 8:03 a.m.

Golf will never be the same for two reasons. First, that Arnold Palmer lived. Second, that Arnold Palmer has died.

The single most important figure in the history of the game -- you can argue with me about this if you want, but you'd be wrong -- passed away Sunday at the age of 87. It's disorienting thinking about a world without him.

Golf -- actually, all of sports -- as we know it today owes everything to Palmer. It was Palmer who created the modern image of sporting celebrity. It was Palmer who invented the concept of sports marketing with a handshake deal with Mark McCormack. It was Palmer who made golf a viable television entity. It was Palmer who invented the idea of the modern Grand Slam. It was Palmer who set the bar for civility and grace and manners that every athlete today can only aspire to achieve.

And closer to home here in Augusta, it was Arnold Palmer who made the Masters Tournament the Masters.

"He's done so much for us," said three-time major winner Nick Price. "He made the Masters. I'm telling you, he made the Masters. There's no doubt. When he won in 1958, the tournament was only 24 years old."

Arnie was born in Latrobe, Pa., on Sept. 10, 1929, but Arnie's Army was born in 1958 at Augusta. The soldiers from nearby Camp Gordon were offered free admission to the Masters for the first time and the club recruited them to run the leaderboards. The servicemen quickly embraced the charismatic Coast Guard veteran, swarming in his wake as he charged to a one-shot victory over Ken Venturi.

By the next year, "Arnie's Army" showed up on one of the Masters boards, and his legion swelled everywhere golf is played as he won four green jackets every even-numbered year between 1958-64. His era of dominance happened to coincide with the advent of golf on television, and his magnetism came through on camera.

"When he came on, and television came on, it was a mix made in heaven," Price said. "Arnold Palmer, television and golf. Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus obviously did a lot, but it was Arnold who had that magnetism that brought everyone together."

Palmer connected with the golfing public like no player ever had. You were simply drawn to his energy and charisma and bravado. He was a pin-up idol in a buttoned-up sport. Only Seve Ballesteros from a European perspective had a similar kind of impact on the sport. Even Tiger Woods as the biggest sports celebrity in the world could not match Palmer's universal appeal.

Ask any player -- past or present -- what Arnie meant to the game and they will wax on. Chances are, every one of them received a signed letter from Palmer at some point congratulating them on a victory or milestone achievement in their own careers and lives.

"I would say what hasn't he done for the game would be easier to explain," said former PGA Tour winner Billy Kratzert, an eight-time Masters participant. "He might have been looking at the whole crowd, but when he looked over there you kind of felt he was looking at you directly. To have that sense connecting to the people, that was huge. You connect to the people, you win major championships, you win other golf tournaments, you're friends with presidents, celebrities like Bob Hope, club companies, first guy with a jet. What hasn't he done? Everyone said Tiger (Woods) made golf cool, well that's probably true. But the guy who piqued the interest of everyone about the game and brought it to where the golf is pretty cool (was Arnie). I'm watching this guy hit from under the tree and making birdie, he's got that Pall Mall hanging out of his mouth and he's hanging around Jackie Gleason and Bob Hope, that's pretty cool."

MORE PALMER: Palmer's obituary | Golfers pay tribute to "The King" | Palmer's timeline, history | Remembering The King's greatest wins | Palmer's legacy includes hundreds of courses | Palmer changed the game and won hearts | A look back at Palmer's last Masters

There's a reason Palmer is still one of the top paid golfers decades after he stopped competing.

"He made the modern game," said two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North. "He's the man that put us on the map. We said for every dollar we make, we should give twenty-five cents to Arnold."

We were blessed to have Palmer grace the game in the most public fashion for nearly seven decades. Long after he stopped being competitive, his mere presence at a tournament or in a pro-am drew us to him like moths to a flame. Even the most cynical media members stood up and applauded him as he tearfully exited the U.S. Open at his hometown Oakmont in 1994.

In 1988 in Richmond, Va., I went and saw Arnold Palmer win his last tournament at a Senior Tour event called the Crestar Classic. That was a year before I became a professional sports writer and had never met him, but I knew if The King was leading a golf tournament in your hometown you damn sure better show up and watch him.

Like so many of us who've been blessed to see him year after year in places like Augusta and Bay Hill and St. Andrews, Palmer's stature grew every time he showed up. He never treated anyone with anything but respect and dignity. Old sportswriting friends like Ron Green Sr. might have traced their relationships with Palmer back to having breakfast with him at the Richmond Hotel before the 1958 Masters, but he treated even his newest acquaintances with the same warm smile and thoughtfulness.

It's already hard trying to comprehend an April without Arnie at the Champions Dinner or on that first tee at Augusta. Many of us have made a point of getting in place early on Thursday morning just to see him make that familiar lash at the golf ball. When he wasn't fit enough to hit a tee shot this year, we still flocked to the first tee to see him just sitting there. I stood not more than 10 feet from his chair and he looked over toward the ropes and stared me straight in the eyes and gave a thumbs up. He might have been looking at anyone around me, but that image will forever burn in our memories as a last precious gift from The King.

It's another personal story that stands out on a Sunday night when the reality that Mr. Palmer is no longer with us. It was at a reception on the eve of the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland introducing some already forgotten golf course his company designed. Palmer stood up to give a little speech, and as was often the case his emotions got the better of him. He was already tearing up as he toasted his late wife, Winnie, and his new bride, Kit. Then for some reason he thanked all of us.

"I've been lucky to live the best life any man could wish for," Palmer said as we all had something in our eyes.

Palmer indeed lived a blessed life. He didn't win as many majors as his Big Three mates Nicklaus or Player, but he won more hearts than any golfer who's ever lived.

Yet we are the ones who were blessed to have Arnold Palmer around for so long as the game's greatest ambassador. No one can ever replace him, but every lesson he left behind will live forever in our hearts and in the game.

Instead of saying goodbye, we should simply say "Thank you Arnold Palmer."

This article was written by Scott Michaux from The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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