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Ali, Nicklaus Meet

By Compiled From Wire Services

Muhammad Ali greeted Jack Nicklaus near the ninth green at Valhalla during Nicklaus’ practice round for the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky.

Nicklaus parred the hole, then shook hands with the former heavyweight champion and Louisville native in front of a crowd of several hundred.

“We’re not going to have to fight, are we?” Nicklaus asked as he approached Ali.

Ali, who lit the Olympic flame for the recently completed Atlanta Games, showed Nicklaus the gold medal he was given to replace the one he won in the 1960 Olympics. Nicklaus put the medal around Ali’s neck and the two posed for pictures.

Ali, his hands trembling from Parkinson’s Syndrome, walked slowly back to a golf cart after meeting Nicklaus and rode off to the cheers of the fans. Nicklaus said the champ touched his cheek in greeting, but said nothing.

Nicklaus and Ali came to prominence in their respective sports about the same time, and Nicklaus said he had admired Ali for his longevity and fearlessness. “He boxed a long time and he took on everybody,” Nicklaus said. “He was a great champion.”

In Lincoln, Neb., Heather Graff of Kennewick defeated Stacy Slobodnik of Kentwood, Mich., 2 and 1 during the first and second round of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

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