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Art Wall dies aged 77

Art Wall Jr., the 1959 Masters champion who had more than 40 aces during his career, died Wednesday morning, the PGA Tour said. He was 77.

Wall was hospitalized the last few weeks with pneumonia. He died in a Scranton hospital of respiratory failure.

``Art Wall was a true gentleman and a wonderful competitor,'' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. ``He will be missed by his fellow pros, but always remembered for his kind nature off the golf course and his accomplishments on it.''

Wall won 14 times on the PGA Tour, but none could top his victory at Augusta National when he surged past Cary Middlecoff and defending champion Arnold Palmer.

Five strokes behind with seven holes to play, Wall birdied five of his last six holes to close with a 66 and beat Middlecoff by one stroke. Palmer finished another stroke back.

Wall was selected PGA Tour player of the year in 1959 with four victories, the money title and Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average.

He only had two top 10s in the Masters, and last played in 1988. His last victory was teaming with Tommy Bolt to win the 1980 Legends of Golf on the Senior PGA Tour.

Wall also played on three Ryder Cup teams.

He was born Nov. 25, 1923, in Honesdale and graduated from Duke University in 1949 with a degree business.

He is survived by wife Jean Louise; two sons, Gregory and Douglas; three daughters, Carolyn Siepiela, Laurie Callahan and Valerie Wall; nine grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

The funeral will be Saturday in Clarks Summit.

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