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Arnold Daniel Palmer (born September 10, 1929 in Latrobe,
Pennsylvania) is an American golfer who has won numerous
events on both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, dating
back to 1955. Palmer is not generally regarded as the
greatest player in history (most would give that accolade
to Jack Nicklaus, some to Bobby Jones, and Tiger Woods
has challenged them in recent years), but he is arguably
the most important in that he was the first golf star
when television started to air golf tournaments in the
Palmer learned golf from his father, who was a golf
professional at Latrobe Country Club near Pittsburgh.
He attended Wake Forest University from 1947 until 1954,
taking time out for service in the United States Coast
Guard. He left college without a degree and briefly
worked as a salesman but after winning the 1954 U.S.
Amateur he turned professional and he won the Canadian
Open the following year. Palmer's charisma was a major
factor in establishing golf as a compelling television
event in the 1950s and 1960s, setting the stage for
the popularity it enjoys today. He is also credited
by many for securing the status of The Open Championship
(British Open) among US players. Before Palmer, relatively
few American professionals attempted to play The Open
due to its travel requirements, foreign environment,
and the style of its courses (radically different from
most American courses). Palmer's successive Open wins
in the early 1960s convinced many American pros that
a trip to Britain would be worth the effort.