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Arnold Palmer coming to play in Wells Fargo pro-am

Arnold Palmer is going to tee it up again at Quail Hollow Club.

Palmer will participate in the Wednesday pro-am at the Wells Fargo Championship next week, his first public round of golf here since he played in a Champions Tour event 10 years ago.

The 81-year-old golf icon rarely plays in front of a gallery, but he will play in the May 4 pro-am with his grandson, pro Sam Saunders. They will be paired with club president and long-time friend Johnny Harris and are scheduled to tee off about 12:15p.m. Palmer also played a pro-am with his grandson during March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

Other celebrities scheduled to participate in the pro-am are five-time reigning NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Dan Marino.

"For all of us in Charlotte and for everybody who follows golf anywhere, having Arnold Palmer be a part of the tournament in your city is one of the highlights of golf anytime, anywhere," Harris said.

"Having him come back and play with his grandson here reinforces the relationship Arnold has with Quail Hollow, with Charlotte and with the many old friends he has here."

Palmer, who attended Wake Forest, offered counsel to James J. Harris more than 50 years ago when Harris considered building Quail Hollow. Palmer told Harris he would help bring a PGA Tour event to Charlotte if the club were built.

It happened when the Kemper Open arrived in 1969 and stayed through 1979.

After it left, Palmer - a long-time member of Quail Hollow - created the World Seniors Invitational at the club in 1982. It was one of the first senior professional events that predated what is now the Champions Tour. He also oversaw the redesign of several holes at Quail Hollow during 1986.

For a time, Palmer owned a house on the 15th fairway at Quail Hollow and had business interests in Charlotte, including a Cadillac dealership.

For ticket information, visit www.wellsfargochampionship.com or the tournament kiosk in SouthPark Mall.

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