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68-year-old local man recalls playing golf with Arnold Palmer, beating him at Bay Hill

"I didn't have the goatee, I just had the mustache," said Pete Covitch. 

December 6, 1999.

Local resident Pete Covitch took down the King - the late, great Arnold Palmer - 9 holes at his place, Bay Hill.

"I was lucky enough to be drawn. Five retailers and their top salesperson were sent all expenses paid from around the country to Bay Hill. Stayed right there in the Lodge overlooking the putting green."

"After this round, Arnold had us at the clubhouse bar. He was drinking his Rolling Rock and we had our Bud Lights," said Covitch.

Suds aside, when you look beyond the score it's about the bonds built, the memories made.

All of it is possible because of golf, which for Pete, is a way of life.

"Little draw."

And if he's not playing golf, he's working on golf, out of his garage.

What's your favorite part of the job?

"The people." said Covitch.

"It's become 2nd nature as far as re-gripping and re-shafting. I got a lot of repeat business by treating them as friends and remembering their name."

Again, it goes back to the people you meet along the way. For instance, Arnold Palmer in 1999.

"He's as genuine as he comes across on TV. Rest in peace. He's always been number one for me. What an honor," said Covitch.

Blake Arthur

Sports Director Blake Arthur joined the KESQ/CBS Local 2 team in August of 2015. Learn more about Blake here.

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