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Golf is mourning the death of legendary Sam Snead.

THE golf world is mourning the loss of Sam Snead, the USPGA Tour's most prolific title winner of all-time with 81 victories, who has died just four days short of his 90th birthday. Known as ``Slammin Sammy,' Snead was credited with 135 worldwide wins, including three Masters, three PGA Championships and one Open.

He also won Tour-sponsored events in six different decades.

USPGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said, ``Sam played the game with consummate skill and was an unforgettable champion.

``When you think about a short list of champions who have made an indelible mark on the character and growth of our sport, Sam Snead is on the list every time.''

Last month, he was the lone honorary starter at the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, a position he held each year since 1984. Ironically, Snead died during the week of the Memorial, the PGA Tour event that honours the game's legends.

Phil Mickelson, who shot a 73 in the first round, said, ``I don't think there's ever been a golf swing as aesthetically pleasing as Sam Snead's.''

Snead is remembered for having one of the sweetest swings, it helped him to several records, including eight wins at one event in Greensboro. A native of Hot Springs, Virginia, he claimed his eighth Greensboro title in 1965.

The victory came at the age of 52 years 10 months and eight days, making him the oldest winner in Tour history. Snead also is the oldest player to make a cut, doing so at the 1979 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic, when he was 67 years two months and 21 days.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 25, 2002
Words:268
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