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‘Silly’ game turns into lifelong passion for Roy Williams (www.pgatour.com)

If there’s one thing Roy Williams loves almost as much as he loves basketball, it’s golf.

Williams didn’t start playing the game seriously until he was in college after a stint on the freshman team at North Carolina convinced him that coaching, not playing basketball was in his future. But he needed a competitive outlet, and golf was it.

Williams learned the sport by reading instructional magazines and watching golf on TV, trying to emulate swings like that of his favorite player at the time, Arnold Palmer. The game he once thought was “silly,” when he lived across from Asheville Municipal as a kid soon got its hooks into him.

Williams, who retired on April 1 with 903 wins and three NCAA titles as head coach at Kansas and North Carolina, has played with the likes of Michael Jordan and Tom Watson and President Barack Obama. His happiest games, though, are still with his regular group that his calls his Fox Hole buddies.

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