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Subject: George Bayer, 77, Long-Driving Golfer

died March 16
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Date Posted: March 24, 2003 2:10:32 EDT

George Bayer, a former University of Washington and Washington Redskins football lineman who won three PGA Tour events and was known for his long drives, died Sunday of a heart attack at his home in Palm Desert, Calif. He was 77.

Bayer, who did not begin playing golf professionally until he was 29, won the 1957 Canadian Open, the 1958 Mayfair Inn Open and the 1960 St. Petersburg Open.

At 6 feet 5 inches and 230 pounds, he hit drives exceeding 300 yards at a time of wooden clubs and low-technology golf balls. He once set a record, later surpassed, with a tournament drive of 436 yards.

Bayer, a native of Bremerton, Wash., played football for the Washington Huskies from 1946 to 1949.

As a senior, he played in the 1949 East-West Shrine Game and was picked in the 20th round of the National Football League draft by the Redskins. He quit after six games because of a dispute with the team's owner, George Preston Marshall.

"He would come out of the stands and make substitutions," Bayer told The Sun of Bremerton in an interview in 2000. "I thought the coach or someone sitting on the bench was supposed to do that."

Bayer earned $428,862 on the PGA and Senior PGA Tours before retiring from regular competition in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Marianne, and five children.

George Bayer in 1962 http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/03/20/obituaries/20BAYE.jpg">

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