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Billy Casper, golf legend, dies at 83
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Golf legend Billy Casper, a prolific player of the PGA Tour, has died of a heart attack at the age of 83 in his Utah home.
Billy Casper, golf legend, has died at the age of 83.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Billy Casper's son said that he died very peacefully and quickly in bed, with his wife Shirley at his bed side. The two had been married for more than 60 years.
Concern's were first raised over Casper's health when he passed out at the clubhouse of the Masters tournament last year. He underwent heart surgery and also was hospitalized for over a month in 2014 with a case of pneumonia.
Casper had been in physical rehab for the last four months, and was supposedly doing better until he reported feeling ill in early February.
Casper was a great golfer, but was often overshadowed by "the Big Three", Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player who staged a rivalry that dominated golf through the 1960s-70s, the era in which Casper played.
"I think it is fair to say that Billy was probably underrated by those who didn't play against him," said Nicklaus. "Those who did compete against him knew how special he was."
Casper is ranked seventh on the PGA Tour, having won 51 times. He sits behind only Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Palmer and Bryon Nelson.
"Billy was a fantastic player, and I don't think he gets enough credit for being one," Nicklaus said. "I have said many times that during my career, when I looked up at a leaderboard, I wasn't just looking to see where a Palmer or a Player or a (Lee) Trevino was. I was also checking to see where Billy Casper was. Billy had tremendous confidence. He just believed in himself.
"You knew when you played against Billy Casper, Billy would not beat himself."
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