Thursday, February 17, 2005

Arnold Palmer returns to Weston, 50 years after his first win on tour

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Arnold Palmer may only have appeared via satellite link-up today, but The King will be in Toronto in the flesh in September for the 50th anniversary of his win of the Canadian Open.
Palmer won at Weston, a Willie Park, course located in North Toronto. My friend, Ian Andrew of Carrick Design, is in the midst of overhauling all the bunkers at Weston. He better have them right by the time the television cameras show up.

Here's the media release:

TORONTO (February 17, 2005)—Return of the King celebrations were announced today to mark the 50th anniversary of Arnold Palmer’s first professional win and to launch the Greens and Dreams charitable foundation and the two new amateur championships.
Arnold Palmer is set to return to Weston Golf & Country Club in Toronto on September 12 where he captured the Canadian Open in 1955 for the victory that kick-started one of the greatest careers in the history of modern sport, Glenn Goodwin, President of the Greater Toronto Area Golf Association, told a news conference at Weston G&CC.
Mr. Palmer would go on to win an astounding 62 victories on the PGA Tour and become the most beloved golfer in the game. So much so, he became known simply as The King.
This special anniversary occasion will include a gala dinner and a pro-am to kick off the inaugural Kings & Queens Senior Amateur Championship, a national tournament for men and women. The format is individual gross medal play.
Mr. Palmer is excited about returning to Weston to celebrate the anniversary of that first win. “It was the kicking-off point for me,� he said of his 1955 victory. “It got me started on the winning trail and smoothed things out for me. The next year, I won a couple of tournaments and felt much more comfortable about what I was doing.�
Palmer and amateur legend Marlene Streit, who recently became the first Canadian inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, will both participate in the pro-am, and hit the opening tee shots to help launch the inaugural Kings & Queens event.
The official Kings & Queens tournament, which Mr. Palmer expects “will soon be a premier senior event in North America,� will run September 13 and 14 at Weston.
“The Return of the King should be a marvelous event for Canada,� Ms. Streit said.
“This has been 50 years in the making,� said Weston Club President Robb English. “The board members are beyond excited.�

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