"Mr. Pebble Beach" RJ Harper dies after 14-month battle with illness
RJ Harper, also known as “Mr. Pebble Beach”, has lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.
The 61-year-old died on Wednesday after a 14-month fight. His death was confirmed by the resort.
Harper started out as a golf course marshal earning $5 an hour, but made such a strong impression that he rose to the resort’s Director of Golf before eventually becoming one of its biggest executives – Executive Vice President – before his sad passing.
"RJ had a lasting impact on Pebble Beach, and his smile, vibrant personality, and positive attitude and outlook on life will be missed by all and never forgotten," said Pebble Beach Company CEO Bill Perocchi.
"All of us at Pebble Beach Company and throughout the golf world are heartbroken by the news of RJ's passing."
Harper has been credited by the resort for helping to secure the 2023 US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach. It was Harper who oversaw all golf-related operations at the resort as the head professional in 1992, before moving up to Championship Director in 2000 and General Chairman of the 2010 U.S. Open. The USGA's marquee championship will return in 2019, 100 years after Pebble Beach first opened its doors.
Just recently, retired PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem told Alan Shipnuck in his recent profile of Harper: "He's part of the persona of Pebble, the culture of Pebble and the feel of Pebble because he's always been there and been so visible. RJ is an institution. He's Mr. Pebble Beach."
The golf world will sorely miss “Mr. Pebble Beach.”
My first long tweet is a sad one. The loss of RJ Harper is felt by everyone in golf. Pebble Beach, where he hung his hat for 30 plus years is a better place because of the time he spent there and will never be quite the same going forward.— Alex Miceli (@alexmiceli) 9 November 2017
In life, you know the good guys as soon as you meet them.— Brian Murphy (@knbrmurph) 9 November 2017
RJ Harper -- full of charm, charisma, talent -- was one of the good guys at Pebble Beach. He died today.
Rest in peace, RJ. You will be missed.
Pebble Beach says RJ Harper has lost battle with pancreatic cancer. This will be felt far beyond Pebble. As fine a person as you could meet— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) 9 November 2017
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