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Continued: Brooks Koepka, another American going the European route, reaps some rewards

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Last update: June 25, 2013 - 2:15 PM

Of course, it's the story that makes the coat.

It belonged to Frank Stranahan, the amateur great who died Sunday at age 90. Of their many practice rounds, one that stands out was Palmer and Dow Finsterwald against Stranahan and Al Besselink in 1957.

"We played 18 holes and we beat him for a couple hundred bucks," Palmer said Tuesday. "Frank said, 'Are you going to give us a chance to get even?' And I said, 'Sure, what do you want to play for?' We were hassling over that and I said, 'Frank, you have a top coat that I really love. I'll put up whatever dollars I have and play you for it.'"

And they did. Palmer said Finsterwald shot 29 over nine holes, and the King shot in the neighborhood of 31. They won the match, and Palmer got the coat.

"I still have it," Palmer said. "I've had it redone and remodeled. It's in my dresser. It's one of my favorite things in my golfing career — the coat I couldn't afford."

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SUN CITY: It began in 1981 as an exhibition called the "Million Dollar Challenge" back when $1 million meant something. Now, the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa will become part of the European Tour scheduled for the 2013-14 season.

It will be played Dec. 5-8 at the Gary Player Country Club, and the field will increase to 30 players. The winner will get $1.25 million, with last place paying $100,000. It will count toward the money list on the European Tour and Sunshine Tour.

The leading 10 players from the top 30 on the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup will be eligible, along with the winners of the Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour and Australasian Tour money lists. Players also can qualify through the South African Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship in the weeks before the Nedbank.

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NOT YET DROPPING ANCHOR: The PGA of America is holding its annual meeting this week at Sunriver Resort in Oregon, and among the topics was the decision to adopt Rule 14-1b to prohibit anchoring the club during a stroke, a rule aimed at the long putter.

PGA president Ted Bishop has been outspoken against the rule. In this case, however, the PGA wants to see how the PGA Tour will respond. The tour's next board meeting is Monday at The Greenbrier.

"As we have seen over the past few months, the Rules of Golf can affect recreational golf in addition to play at the elite level," Bishop said in a statement. "The PGA of America will continue to confer with the PGA Tour on the subject of Rule 14-1b."

He said the PGA of America will reserve any public comment until after the tour's policy board meeting.

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DIVOTS: Jaime Diaz, the editor-in-chief at Golf World magazine, has been selected as the Memorial Golf Journalism honoree for 2014. ... Ken Duke's win last week moved him to No. 20 in the FedEx Cup standings. After The Greenbrier Classic, the leading five players from the top 20 in the FedEx Cup are exempt to the British Open. Duke currently is sixth on the list behind Billy Horschel, Boo Weekley, Charles Howell III, Russell Henley and Harris English. ... The Humana Challenge is changing its format to allow top amateurs to play on Sunday. Six top amateurs (top three low gross and low net) will be paired with two professionals and start on the back nine. The amateurs will not be partners with the pros. They will play individual stroke play from forward tees.

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