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Former Ryder Cup player Mason Rudolph dies at 76

Mason Rudolph, one of the finest golfers to come out of Tennessee and one of the youngest golfers to ever qualify for the U.S. Open, died Monday morning at age 76. Rudolph had suffered from heart problems since last fall.

A native of Clarksville, Tenn., who won his state Open six times, Rudolph captured five PGA Tour events, highlighted by a one-stroke victory over Jack Nicklaus in the 1966 Thunderbird Classic. He was a member of the 1957 United States Walker Cup team and 1971 U.S. Ryder Cup team. Rudolph had three top-four finishes in major championships.

Rudolph was only 16 when he qualified for the U.S. Open in 1950, the same year he won the U.S. Junior Amateur championship.

--Bill Fields 
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