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New rivalry between golf legends Nicklaus, Palmer in western N.C.

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ETOWAH, N.C. (AP) -- They were fierce competitors on the fairways, and the rivalry between Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer is picking up in western North Carolina once again.

The pair has turned their attention to designing courses and are making inroads in the mountains of North Carolina and South Carolina with several new projects.

Nicklaus was in South Carolina on Saturday to play the ceremonial first round at one of his newest projects, The Cliffs' at Keowee Falls. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove just south of Asheville is in its third season, and his company also has projects planned in Lake Lure and Highlands.

Palmer's latest project is the nearby Seven Falls Golf and River Club in Etowah, about 25 miles south of Asheville. Palmer was in town last Friday. His design of Balsam Mountain Preserve west of Waynesville is scheduled to open ten of its 18 holes later this month, and he is designing White Oak in Polk County, which borders South Carolina.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)