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updated: 11/8/2017 6:44 PM

Pebble Beach golf director RJ Harper dies of cancer at 61

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- R.J. Harper, who rose from a golf course marshal at Pebble Beach to head of golf operations at America's iconic golf resort, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 61.

Pebble Beach Company says Harper died Wednesday after a 14-month battle with cancer.

Harper, who played football and baseball at Rhodes College in Tennessee, showed up at Pebble Beach in 1985. He was the head pro during the 1992 U.S. Open, championship director of the 2000 U.S. Open and general chairman for the 2010 and 2019 Opens. In his final months, he played a role in the U.S. Women's Open coming to Pebble Beach in 2023 for the first time.

Harper, the executive vice president of golf and retail at Pebble Beach Company, also helped start AT&T Junior Golf on the Monterey Peninsula.

Pebble Beach will have a celebration of life on Nov. 21 on the lawn next to the 18th hole.

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