PGA of America and The Trump Organization reach settlement regarding 2022 PGA Championship

“We look forward to continuing to support the mission of the PGA and its Professionals.”

The 2022 PGA Championship was originally scheduled to be held at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, however, the PGA of America canceled the contract. Today, it was announced that the two sides have reached an agreed settlement.

Despite the conclusion, the details of the arrangement were not released.

“The Trump Organization’s contribution to the golf community is appreciated,” the PGA of America said in a statement. “We are thankful the company employs hundreds of dedicated PGA Professionals and consistently gives back to the golf community through hosting charitable events and sponsoring junior golf programs. As stated in 2014 when announced, Trump Bedminster is a major championship-worthy golf course and in a portfolio along with some of the finest private and public golf courses anywhere in the world.”

As for The Trump Organization, Executive Vice President Eric Trump released the following: “We have great respect for the work of the PGA.  Over the past 20+ years, we have enjoyed working with the PGA to deliver to our club members and the public some of the greatest golf experiences anywhere in the world.  We look forward to continuing to support the mission of the PGA and its Professionals, who are the best in the golf industry.”

The tournament will now be played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Southern Hills has hosted seven major championships on the men’s side, most recently the 2007 PGA Championship won by Tiger Woods.

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PGA of America institutes ‘Omar Uresti rule’ for Professional Club Championship

Uresti has been criticized for taking advantage of the rules to compete despite not working full-time as a club pro.

The PGA of America announced it is tying up a loophole in its eligibility classifications for the Professional Club Championship, one that drew the ire of some of its membership. Call it the Omar Uresti rule.

The PGA Board of Directors approved a change to the eligibility classification for the PGA Professional Championship and the NCR Assistant Professional Championship that makes its Life Members ineligible from those competitions.

“The Committee felt strongly that the PGA Professional Championship is for working PGA Professionals in an active classification,” the PGA said in a release. “Reverting back to the standards in place prior to 2006 when Life Members were not eligible for the PGA Professional Championship was determined to be the best way to align with the Committee’s perspective; however, Life Members will remain eligible for the Senior PGA Professional Championship.”

Uresti, 53, was vilified on social media and criticized within the club pro fraternity for taking advantage of the rules to compete in the championship despite not working full-time as a club professional and earning one of the coveted exemptions given to the top-20 finishers in the competition into the PGA Championship.

Uresti turned professional in 1991 and played 11 full seasons on the PGA Tour, making 380 starts and earning nearly $4 million. Along the way, he earned PGA Class A status by being a member of the PGA Tour for 20 years, but he and others who took advantage of the “Life Member Active” category worked in a non-traditional role compared to the majority of the field. It became a sensitive topic as Uresti won the title in 2017 and 2021 and also finished among the top 20 to qualify for the PGA Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2018 (the 2020 championship was canceled due to COVID-19). Uresti never qualified for the PGA Championship until using this loophole via the PGA Professional Championship.

The PGA Tournament Committee vetted the eligibility change for the past year when reviewing guidelines for the PGA Professional Championship. Prior to the change in eligibility standards, the competition was open to any PGA member who is a Class A PGA professional and made less than 10 starts on professional tours (including developmental and senior tours) during the last 12 months, not including majors.

These changes will start with the 2022 Section Championships that advance players into the 2022 NCR Assistant PGA Professional Championship and into the 2023 PGA Professional Championship. These changes do not affect the eligibility of players in the 2022 PGA Professional Championship.

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Why should clubs, private or public, hire a PGA professional? PGA of America president Jim Richerson explains in this Q&A.

Presidents of the PGA of America and the Northern Ohio Section explain the value that 28,000-plus pros bring to their clubs and communities.

The PGA of America is shining a spotlight on Wisconsin this month, with the Ryder Cup scheduled Sept. 24-26 at Whistling Straits on the shore of Lake Michigan. It’s not a bad time to shine a light on the organization that operates the biennial matches, as well.

The PGA of America gains much attention for the Ryder Cup and its PGA Championship, but the heart of the organization is nearly 29,000 golf professionals who teach the game, operate courses, conduct thousands of local charitable and fundraising events each year, and basically make the game more inviting and fun for members of private clubs and public-access facilities.

Golfweek spoke with PGA president Jim Richerson, as well as Northern Ohio PGA Section president Steve Parker, to highlight their enthusiasm.

Jim Richerson
Jim Richerson, president of the PGA of America (Courtesy of the PGA of America)

Richerson, the senior vice president of golf operations for course-management company Troon, was elected president of the PGA in 2020. His career included an 11-year stint at Destination Kohler, the resort that operates Whistling Straits. Parker is the director of golf operations at Portage Country Club in Akron, Ohio, and was for years employed at Firestone Country Club, longtime host of a PGA Tour event and three PGA Championships.

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship future sites through 2031

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will continue to visit some of the historic golf venues in the United States.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will continue to visit some  historic golf venues in the United States.

Future sites have been announced through 2031 although the PGA of America is still yet to announce locations for 2024, 2026, 2028, 2029 and 2030.

Of the five known future sites, the famed Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland will have two of them, as will the new PGA Frisco location in Frisco, Texas, the future home of the PGA of America.

There was a groundbreaking ceremony in May and eventually two courses will be built there. Two future PGA Championships, in 2027 and 2034, will also be staged in Frisco.

How much money each player won at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Nelly Korda, 22, won her first major at the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Nelly Korda won her second straight LPGA event, her second win in two weeks and her sixth overall—tying her with her sister Jessica—when she took home the title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Korda reached new heights with the win, as she won her first career major. She also moved up to the No. 1 spot in the Rolex rankings—the first American in seven years to do so—and she’s taken over the top spot in the CME Group rankings. She’s the first American to win a major in nearly three years.

The $4.5 million purse was a record for the tournament. Korda is also taking home a first-place check for $675,000 for the win. See the full payout list below. You can also see the LPGA’s all-time money list here.

Prize money

Position Player Score Earnings
1 Nelly Korda -19 $675,000
2 Lizette Salas -16 $418,716
T3 Hyo Joon Kim -10 $269,361
T3 Guilia Molinaro -10 $269,361
T5 Patty Tavatanakit -8 $171,934
T5 Danielle Kang -8 $171,934
T7 Celine Boutier -7 $121,501
T7 Austin Ernst -7 $121,501
T9 Amy Yang -6 $93,608
T9 Cydney Clanton -6 $93,608
T9 Xiyu Lin -6 $93,608
T12 Sei Young Kim -5 $75,343
T12 Wichanee Meechai -5 $75,343
T12 Dottie Ardina -5 $75,343
T15 Leona Maguire -4 $58,839
T15 Nanna Koertz Madsen -4 $58,839
T15 Jessica Korda -4 $58,839
T15 Yealimi Noh -4 $58,839
T15 Esther Henseleit -4 $58,839
T15 Madelene Sagstrom -4 $58,839
T21 Yuka Saso -3 $48,142
T21 Georgia Hall -3 $48,142
T21 Brooke Henderson -3 $48,142
T21 Charley Hull -3 $48,142
T25 Yu Liu -2 $42,985
T25 Alena Sharp -2 $42,985
T27 Alison Les -1 $36,793
T27 Moriya Jutanugarn -1 $36,793
T27 Dani Holmqvist -1 $36,793
T27 Meghan Khang -1 $36,793
T27 Lindsey Weaver -1 $36,793
T27 In Gee Chun -1 $36,793
T33 Jeongeun Lee E $28,229
T33 Marina Alex E $28,229
T33 Maria Stackhouse E $28,229
T33 So Yeon Ryu E $28,229
T33 Chella Choi E $28,229
T33 Gabrielle Ruffels E $28,229
T33 Ryan O’Toole E $28,229
T40 Hinako Shibuno +1 $21,587
T40 Minjee Lee +1 $21,587
T40 Lauren Stephenson +1 $21,587
T40 Brittany Lang +1 $21,587
T40 Inbee Park +1 $21,587
T40 Gerina Piller +1 $21,587
T46 Perrine Delacour +2 $17,116
T46 Jin Young Ko +2 $17,116
T46 Michelle Wie West +2 $17,116
T46 Ariya Juntanugarn +2 $17,116
T46 Albane Venezuela +2 $17,116
T46 Mina Harigae +2 $17,116
T52 Lydia Ko +3 $14,442
T52 Luna Sobron Galmes +3 $14,442
T52 Ally Ewing +3 $14,442
T52 Lexi Thompson +3 $14,442
T56 Caroline Masson +4 $13,066
T56 Janie Jackson +4 $13,066
T58 Angela Stanford +5 $11,600
T58 Jennifer Kupcho +5 $11,600
T58 Eun-Hee Ji +5 $11,600
T58 Jeongeun Lee6 +5 $11,600
T58 Anna Nordqvist +5 $11,600
63 Su Oh +6 $10,775
T64 Pajaree Anannarukarn +8 $10,431
T64 Dana Finklestein +8 $10,431
66 Annie Park +9 $10,087
T67 Lauren Kim +10 $9,628
T67 Christina Kim +10 $9,628
T67 Sarah Burnham +10 $9,628
70 Paula Reto +18 $9,171

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KPMG: Atlanta Athletic Club’s sixth hole, once a beast, now drivable and gettable for final round

The par-4 sixth hole at KPMG Women’s PGA has a bit of a split identity. One day it gives; the next day it takes.

JOHNS CREEK, Georgia – The par-4 sixth hole at Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course has a bit of a split identity. One day it gives; the next day it takes.

For the second time this week, the tees on No. 6 have been moved up, making it drivable and an intriguing risk/reward option.

The club agreed to add a new tee box for the KPMG Women’s PGA so that the women could be presented with the same option as the men at the 2011 PGA Championship. With a back-right hole location on the 246-yard hole Sunday, many players will be primed to take on the risk with water on the left and bunkers guarding the green.

“When I was here 18 months ago,” said PGA of America Chief Championship Officer Kerry Haigh, “we talked about it and shared with the club, and they were excited because they’ll be able to use it for their membership day in, day out, and it’s certainly – it makes you think. Do you lay up short of the lake, which is really not much club at all? Or do you go for it? There’s plenty of room to the right to bail out but then it’s a really tough chip if you do miss it right, but obviously you’re rewarded with a birdie or eagle if you’re straight.

“It should be fun to watch.”

KPMG Women’s PGA: Leaderboard | Photos

The hole played 376 yards in Round 1 and ranked the most difficult with a 4.583 scoring average. It ranked the second-hardest in Round 3 with a 4.457 average. The field made a combined five birdies over the course of two rounds.

On Friday, however, the tee was moved up to 229 yards and tied with the second hole as the 16th easiest hole of the day. There were 53 birdies and five eagles in the second round. Seventeen players made bogey and four players made double or worse.

Big-hitting Jessica Korda chose not to go for the green on Friday while Inbee Park hit driver long and then chipped in for eagle.

“I think it was in a pretty smart setup,” said Park. “It was probably maybe not a driver for a lot of the girls, and we definitely had to think about it, laying up, as well, with the water on the left. If you’re on the borderline of the cut line, if you’re ahead of the field a lot, you have to think about yourself.”

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KPMG: New analytics platform to help narrow divide between men’s, women’s game

Closing the outrageously wide analytics chasm between the men’s and women’s game seemed a natural fit for KPMG.

ATLANTA – The question from KPMG was simple: What’s the LPGA’s No. 1 pain point?

Answer: The lack of statistics and analytics.

Seven years ago, KPMG stepped in as title sponsor of the revamped Women’s PGA with a commitment to take the championship to premiere courses where men have typically played. This week marks the first time a women’s major has been held on the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club. Upcoming venues include Congressional in 2022 and Baltusrol in 2023.

The purse size has doubled to $4.5 million. Weekend coverage will be on NBC. In the Women’s Leadership Summit, KPMG created a model that tournament after tournament on the LPGA was eager to follow.

But KPMG, a Hall of Fame kind of LPGA partner, wanted to do more. Closing the outrageously wide analytics chasm between the men’s and women’s game seemed a natural fit for the goal of continuing to elevate the women’s game.

“We do data and analytics for a living,” said Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO.

The KPMG Performance Insights technology platform launches this week at Atlanta Athletic Club, though players and caddies took part in a soft launch, gathering data in the weeks leading up to the event.

The official release for the program described the LPGA’s current stats program as “similar to what some weekend golfers calculate after their rounds.” That’s precisely accurate.

“We were surprised at that disparity,” said Knopp, “and we very much wanted to be a partner in wanting to do something about it.”

The KPMG program will be similar to what’s on the European Tour, with caddies recording shots, club selections and the lie of every shot. They’ll turn in a special scorecard after every round and get paid a stipend for the efforts. KPMG is covering that, too.

Overall strokes gained and strokes gained by game area (off the tee, approach, around the green, putting) will be available as well as deeper insights into individual strokes gained by 25-yard increments and individual shots taken. Players, fans and media will know how close players hit it on average from certain distances. There will be shot dispersion charts, average birdie putt length and performance indexing over time against the field.

It’s not ShotLink, but it’s a quantum leap in the right direction.

Preaching the need for better analytics

KPMG ambassador Stacy Lewis stayed with COO Laura Newinski while competing in the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona and talked at length with her about how stats would not only help players better identify strengths and weaknesses, but also vastly improve TV and print coverage of the tour.

“It will let people know how good we are,” said Lewis. “It creates interest and gives announcers something to talk about instead of what outfit we have on, or whether she’s happy or not. (Now it’s) how good her putting numbers are or how good she’s driving it this week, and you can back it up with something.”

KPMG Women's PGA Championship
Anna Nordqvist at the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on Oct. 10, 2020 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

For years Golf Channel’s Karen Stupples has been preaching the need for better analytics on the LPGA. Why should sports fans simply believe what someone in the booth says when there are no numbers to prove it?

“In this age of technology, everybody is looking at ball speed and club speed and spin rates,” said Stupples. “It’s a numbers game. And when there are no numbers, it makes it very subjective.

“I think people downplay just how good they are because there’s no way to put a fixed number on how good they are. They’re trying to take our word for it, but why would they take our word for it?”

Some players, like Brittany Altomare, have been keeping their own detailed stats for years. Altomare’s father Tom spent 32 years working at HP and used his penchant for numbers to create a stats system at the request of Altomare’s coach Justin Sheehan. Brittany inputs her own numbers each week. Tom analyzes the trends and puts together a summary. Sheehan breaks it down and delivers the message.

They could analyze 250 shots taken with an 8-iron, for example, and see how far she hits it from the hole on average and how often she converts for birdie.

For coaches who aren’t out every week watching players, this kind of information is invaluable for training.

Santiago Carranza, a former software engineer who now makes a living in finance, started a detailed stats project out of necessity to help girlfriend Gaby Lopez look for areas of improvement. It evolved into ABX Tour, an analytics system that was used by a number of players on tour who were looking for a benchmark of standards so that players can put context to their own personal stats.

Now there’s a standardized system in play for the entire tour that all partners will be able to access.

“When you get actual physical numbers that tell you how good these players are,” said Stupples, “people have to buy in. They can’t dismiss figures.”

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Ageless wonder Bernhard Langer ready to tackle KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Bernhard Lange could only smile when asked what he thought about Phil Mickelson’s PGA feat at more than a decade his senior.

TULSA, Oklahoma – Phil Mickelson won universal golf acclaim for his  ‘victory for the ages,’ capturing the PGA Championship at age 50, but golf’s true ageless wonder, Bernhard Langer, could only smile when asked what he thought about Mickelson’s feat at more than a decade his senior.

“I’m happy for him, of course, but I’m smiling because I’ve been saying for 12 years somebody from the senior tour would win a major championship. It was just a matter of time before it would happen and I’m thrilled it finally did.”

Langer certainly counts himself among a group of contenders for the second senior major of the year, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, at historic Southern Hill Country Club, which begins Thursday at the site of past U.S Opens and PGA Championships. It will also host the 2022 PGA Championship.

The 72-hole tournament, with a total purse of $3.5 million, includes names Langer battled regularly on the PGA Tour: Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, John Daly and Vijay Singh. Langer is happy to renew the battle.

“I still love the game of golf,” he said. “I love to compete and when I don’t, it’s time to leave, but that time has not come yet. I still feel very competitive with these guys and I look forward to the week.”

Name an age-related record for professional golfers 50 and older and its likely Langer either owns it or is rapidly closing in:

  • Most years in a row with a win on PGA Champions Tour
  • Senior tour career grand slam
  • Most senior money won
  • Oldest player to make 36-hole cut at Masters Tournament

All Langer.

In the category of most pro wins ever for a golfer 50-and-older, Langer only trails Hale Irwin—by four—but as he likes to say, it’s probably only a matter of time.

Langer works harder and smarter to get ready for his week at the Senior PGA in Southern Hills. He arrived at the club at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, pulling into his assigned spot, 1-A, after getting his traditional eight hours of sleep in a nearby hotel.

“I was never a smoker or a drinker or a partier,” he said. “Other guys would be out to 2 a.m., and then have an 8 a.m. tee time. I always make sure and get plenty of sleep before I play.”

After a 10-hole practice round, his second of the week after a Tuesday pro-am, he had a light lunch, then he spent time in the fitness trailer stretching and working through his full range of motion.

“I’m maybe 5 pounds heavier now (163) than when I won the 1993 Masters,” he noted.

How long is too long keep playing? Consider that his mom is 97 and is still active. He asked Masters Chairman Fred Ridley the very same question before the 2020 Masters.

“He said that as long as we can stand upright and play golf, we are welcome to play,” Langer said.

Which means golf’s true ageless wonder will keep on going.

PGA Championship: The potentially life-changing week for low-PGA club pro Ben Cook

Ben Cook impressed Webb Simpson and his caddie Paul Tesori with his play and has ambitions of making the PGA Tour.

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – One putt. Eight feet. To play the weekend at the 103rd PGA Championship.

PGA teaching pro Ben Cook sank it as if it was just another putt on the practice green at Yankee Springs Golf Course in Wayland, Michigan, where he is PGA Director of Instruction.

“It is weird to think that it came down to the last putt on the last hole that I almost three-putted to miss the cut,” he said. “But I made it thankfully and then without that, it would have – none of this would have happened.”

That included a third-round pairing with former major winner Webb Simpson, and shooting a sparkling 3-under 69 on ‘moving day’ at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. As Simpson and his caddie, Paul Tesori, walked off the green, Tesori said of Cook, 27, “How does he lose any tournament he plays in? He should be out here with us.”

Tesori, who played one year on the Tour before becoming a caddie, is a student of the game and he went one better at the end of the round, and let Cook know how impressed he was with his performance.

“Paul after the round was like, ‘Hey, use this as a springboard and see if you can build on that momentum that you created this week and see if you can get to the next level,’ which was really nice,” Cook said. “They are hoping to see me out here on a more regular basis, which is great.”

Ben Cook reacts on the first green during the second round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort’s Ocean Course on May 21, 2021 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Cook, who rocked a hat with the word “Bad” on the front, made four birdies in the final round en route to shooting 2-over 74 and a 72-hole total of 4-over 292. It earned him low PGA club pro honors after being one of the 20 club pros to qualify for the championship. He earned a berth in the field for finishing third in the PGA Professional Championship.

“It’s always something I’ve strived to do the last couple years and now that I’ve made the cut and was low club pro this year, it’s definitely a goal achieved, along with making the cut,” said Cook, who missed the cut in the 2019 and 2020 PGA. “Very happy.”

Cook has bigger ambitions in the pro game. He missed the cut at the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in September, currently has status on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and has a date at U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying. Making the cut at the PGA Championship allows him to skip to the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Q-School later this year.

“If I finish Top-10 on the Order of Merit or their points list, I’ll get to go to final stage of Q-School, get a card. Depending on how you play, you get better status,” he explained.

Of competing on PGA Tour Latinoamerica, Cook said, “It’s a little brotherhood, if you will, of everybody kind of splitting costs and going to dinners together. It’s a blast,” he said.

So was an unforgettable week at the 103rd PGA Championship.

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PGA Championship: Collin Morikawa nailed the Champions Dinner he didn’t know he got to host

Collin Morikawa didn’t know he got to host a PGA Champions Dinner, but he put together a strong menu.

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The Masters isn’t the only major that has a champions dinner. Didn’t know that? Don’t feel bad; neither did reigning PGA champion Collin Morikawa –“DC” for defending champion as they are calling him this week – who is also the guy who set the menu and picked up the tab. When asked if he was aware of this tournament tradition, Morikawa chuckled and said, “No. But I’m glad it is.”

Much like at the more ballyhooed winners-only Champions Dinner held each year on the Tuesday of Masters week at Augusta National, the ticket to admission to Tuesday night’s soiree at the PGA Championship is having hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy. But there is one difference: Spouses and family members of past champions are included. Morikawa, who said he loves food, had the honor of selecting the menu and he offered plenty of options.

“It was kind of how much food can you just throw at everyone,” he said. “But no, I gave people the option of fish or fried chicken, so either you go healthy or you don’t go healthy.”

Here’s the menu and our grades:

Starters

Harding Park Clam Chowder or Cobb Salad

Grade B: Nice tip of the cap to TPC Harding Park being the site of his PGA victory last year and who doesn’t like a Cobb salad?

Entrees

Pan-seared Cobia with lemon caper sauce or fried chicken with four-cheese creamy mac n’ cheese

Grade B: I would’ve gone with filets and Chilean Sea Bass, but the only champions dinner I’m hosting is for my fantasy league. The Mac ‘n cheese alone almost brought it into the A range. 

For the table to share

Platters of sliced porterhouse, parmesan creamed spinach, roasted brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, asparagus.

“Everyone was loving that, just to kind of pick on,” Morikawa said of the Porterhouse strips and sides. “It’s a great family style, and obviously going through COVID and everything, you’re so used to takeout boxes – maybe I should have given everyone a takeout box and just told them to go eat in their room. That would have been new.”

Grade A: Solid choices. Garlic mashed would’ve made it an A+.

Dessert

House-made ice creams (Vanilla, chocolate, banana), platters of warm chocolate chip and red velvet cookies.

Grade: A. Simple yet delicious. Extra credit for the cookies being warm and everyone may not agree with Morikawa and me here but banana ice cream instead of strawberry was an inspired choice.

Wines

Sauvignon Blanc, Nautilus Estate

Chardonnay, Ceritas

Merlot, Duckhorn

Cabernet Sauvignon, Caymus

Grade: A. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not too familiar with those whites and would’ve gone with Cakebread as my Chard but the reds are strong to very strong. 

“It’s an honor to continue the tradition of choosing tonight’s dinner menu. It’s a mixture of selections I trust you will enjoy,” Morikawa wrote on the menu.

“It was just good to have people, like, share food and just have people talk to each other while they passed the plates. I think we all missed that,” he added. “The dinner was just kind of put together, foods that I love, and it was an awesome night really.

“It was so cool to talk to a bunch of champions, not just champions that I know, but just guys that are older that aren’t on Tour anymore, just to kind of hear stories from them. It’s a really meaningful night.”

As for the stories that were told, those will be guarded by Morikawa like state secrets. Asked to share his favorite, he demurred and said, “Well, I’m not going to tell you that.”

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