Calvin Peete dies at 71; black golfer won 12 times on PGA Tour

Calvin Peete, who won 12 times on the PGA Tour, died Wednesday at 71

Before there was Tiger Woods, there was Calvin Peete.

Peete, a successful black player on the PGA Tour with a dozen tournament victories through the mid-1980s, died Wednesday in Atlanta at age 71.  

“Calvin was an inspiration to so many people," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said. "He started in the game relatively late in life but quickly became one of the tour’s best players."

Peete did not join the tour full time until age 32. His best season came in 1982 with four wins.

Two years later, he earned the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average on tour. He added a victory at the prestigious Players Championship in 1985.

The Champions Tour allowed him to keep playing through 2000, after which he devoted much of his time to working with youth and charities in the game.

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