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Toss In a Great Memory

USGA paid tribute to Arnie -- and his visor toss at Cherry Hills -- on U.S. Open Sunday at Erin Hills

by Gary Baines - 6/19/2017

Arnold Palmer won only one U.S. Open, and it was 57 years ago.

But on Sunday at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin, the King's 1960 U.S. Open victory at Cherry Hills Country Club was front and center.

In the first U.S. Open since Palmer's death last September, the USGA paid tribute to Arnie in a few noteworthy ways:

-- Both the flag on the 18th green at Erin Hills and the netting that covered the foundation of the grandstands on No. 18 featured images of Palmer and the famous visor toss with which he punctuated his 1960 win at Cherry Hills.

-- And players and spectators on Sunday at Erin Hills received a replica of Palmer's 1960 contestant pin.

Of course, 57 years ago, Palmer shot a final-round 65 at Cherry Hills to rally from seven strokes back to win the U.S. Open. It's been called "Golf's Greatest Championship" as three generations of the game's top players ever -- Ben Hogan, Palmer and Jack Nicklaus -- contended for the title down the stretch.

"I think for (the USGA) to do this little celebration on Father’s Day Sunday, the first U.S. Open we haven't had him here, is a very important thing," USGA executive director Mike Davis said. "It's just the USGA's small way of saying, 'Arnold, thank you for all you did for golf.'"

The USGA has done similar Palmer tributes at its championships over the last year, starting with the Men's State Team Championship in Birmingham, Ala., last fall.

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