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Palmer took his downfall graciously, as you might expect.

“I thought I would win it again by virtue of my age and competitiveness - and should have,” he said years later. “[But] Sam Snead never won the Open and had every right in the world to win. Those things you never know for sure.”

What we do know is that Nicklaus became the greatest golfer who ever lived, at least until the emergence of Tiger Woods. Slimming down and becoming more approachable, the Ohio superstar won 18 majors, 73 PGA Tour tournaments and 10 Senior Tour events over the next 24 years before retiring from competition to concentrate on his work as one of the nation’s pre-eminent golf course architects.

Today Jack Nicklaus is as revered - and loved - by fans as much as Arnold Palmer once was. And it seems fitting that Arnold Palmer described better than anyone else his rival’s ascent that warm June weekend 46 years ago:

“Jack became Jack.”