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Original Issue

Calvin Peete 1943--2015

Calvin Peete, the former two-time Ryder Cupper who died on April 29 at 71, played golf with dark, bony hands, a bent left arm, a Kangol hat and, early in his pro career, diamond studs in his front teeth. His long path to the PGA Tour, where he won 12 events between 1979 and '86, included many days on public tracks losing large sums to men accustomed to collecting, long nights hitting golf balls under South Florida floodlights and a stint selling various wares to migrant farmworkers out of a 1956 Plymouth station wagon. Thirty years ago Peete won the tournament now known as the Players. When it was over, Hale Irwin planted his palm on Peete's heart. He knew how far the golfer had come. It is sometimes said that Peete was Tiger Woods before there was a Tiger Woods. He was not. He was Calvin Peete.