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Arnold Palmer seeks relief

Arnold Palmer seeks relief

Feb. 17, 1977: Arnold Palmer, kneeling behind the ball, gets a ruling from PGA official Dusty Murdock.

Palmer’s ball hit a tree and landed on the edge of a cart path on the 18th hole of the Los Angeles Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Palmer was not allowed relief and had to play the ball from this location.

An article in the Feb. 19, 1977, Los Angeles Times explains the term relief: “If an obstruction not part of the course–a concession stand or a TV tower–is between a golfer and the flagstick, he is allowed to drop the ball in a playable position no nearer the hole.”

The 1977 L.A. Open was rough on the big names. Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Jerry Pate and Billy Casper all missed the cut. Tom Purtzer won with a 11-under-par score of 273.

This photo by former staff photographer Ben Olender was published in the Feb. 20, 1977, Los Angeles Times.

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