Thursday, July 23

NPR's 'Only a Game': 1969 Masters Champion George Archer and a 50-Year Secret

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FROM "ONLY A GAME" LAST DECEMBER, here's a revealing story about George Archer, the 1969 Masters champion. Archer stood 6 feet 6 inches. I remember him as a good putter.

An excerpt:
[George Archer's] pro career spanned five decades. His wife Donna and their two daughters often joined him on tour. They were a close family. And they needed to be. Because George Archer had a secret they all had to keep.
(Archer was dyslexis. He couldn't read.)
On the tour, to keep his secret, George Archer had to find a way around that wall.
"I don’t know if you’ve seen the massive leaderboard at a PGA golf tournament, but it's huge. And George knew that his name was on the left under the 'A's, and his friend Larry Ziegler's name was on the right under the 'Z's," [his wife] Donna says.
When he needed money…
"He had a prototype check with him, and it had a certain amount of money on it. And he would copy that," Donna says. "And then if he needed more, he would call, and we would go through the writing of the check together."
Finally, Donna said, "The arc of his life is his courage and persistance. And so that's a major lesson. That every person you look at probably has a secret, or a goal, or a talent, or something that the world doesn't see. So it's important to know that about people. And be kind."

George Archer won 13 times on the PGA Tour. He also collected 19 victories on the senior circuit. He died in 2005 at the age of 65.

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