Palmer pro-am to benefit education

Arnold Palmer will return to the golf course where he won the U.S. Amateur 50 years ago, joining two dozen other U.S. Amateur champions to raise money for an education program.

The inaugural Arnold Palmer Turning Point Invitational will be a pro-am Aug. 30 at the Country Club of Detroit, where Palmer rallied for a 1-up victory over Robert Sweeny in the 1954 U.S. Amateur.

Palmer refers to that victory as “my turning point in golf.” He turned professional later that year, and went on to win seven majors among his 62 victories on the PGA Tour.

Tournament organizers hope to raise $5 million to establish the Arnold Palmer Education Fund, which mainly will support the children at Cornerstone Schools in Detroit and allow more urban children to be educated.

Proceeds also will go to other educational programs in the Detroit area.

The tournament will include 25 groups, each headed by a U.S. Amateur winner, with the best two balls counting toward the score.

The former U.S. Amateur champions who have agreed to join Palmer are Harvie Ward (1955, ’56), Gary Cowan (1966, ’71), Bob Dickson (1967), Bruce Fleisher (1968), Steve Melynk (1969), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Marvin (Vinny) Giles III (1972), Craig Stadler (1973), USGA president Fred Ridley (1975), John Fought (1977), John Cook (1978), Mark O’Meara (1979), Nathaniel Crosby (1981), Scott Verplank (1984), Buddy Alexander (1986), Billy Mayfair (1987), Phil Mickelson (1990), Mitch Voges (1991), John Harris (1993), Hank Kuehne (1998), David Gossett (1999), Jeff Quinney (2000), Ricky Barnes (2002) and Nick Flanagan (2003).

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