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R.J. Harper, who went from golf course marshal to running Pebble Beach, dies at 61

R.J. Harper, who rose from a golf course marshal at Pebble Beach to head of golf operations at America's iconic golf resort, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 61.

Harper died Wednesday after a 14-month battle with cancer, the Pebble Beach Co. announced.

Harper, who played football and baseball at Rhodes College in Tennessee, showed up at Pebble Beach in 1985, earning $5 an hour as a course marshal.

He was the head pro during the 1992 U.S. Open, championship director of the 2000 U.S. Open and general chairman for the 2010 and 2019 Opens.

In his final months, he played a role in the U.S. Women's Open coming to Pebble Beach for the first time, in 2023.

Harper, the executive vice president of golf and retail at Pebble Beach Co., also helped start AT&T Junior Golf on the Monterey Peninsula.

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