PLAYER TOASTS PALMER AS PUB­LIC ME­MO­RIAL SER­VICE SET

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

WORLD­WIDE trib­utes con­tin­ued yes­ter­day for Arnold Palmer, the golf icon who died Sun­day at age 87 as a pub­lic me­mo­rial was sched­uled for next week in his home­town. South African leg­end Gary Player toasted his 1960’s “Big Three” ri­val in an emo­tional state­ment, the 80year-old say­ing, “I hope to be re­united for an­other round to­gether in time.” Palmer’s grand­son, PGA player Sam Saun­ders, an­nounced a pri­vate cer­e­mony will be held for “The King” this week while a pub­lic me­mo­rial ser­vice will be staged on Oct 4 at St. Vin­cent’s Col­lege Basil­ica in Palmer’s home­town of La­trobe, Penn­syl­va­nia. Alas­tair John­ston, the chair­man of Arnold Palmer En­ter­prises, said the de­ci­sion was made to de­lay the pub­lic cer­e­mony un­til af­ter the Ry­der Cup so it does not over­shadow the bi­en­nial US-Europe men’s team golf matches be­ing staged from Fri­day through Sun­day at Hazel­tine. “The last thing he would have wanted was the whole golf sched­ule to be in­ter­rupted be­cause of his pass­ing,” John­ston said. The US flag was at half staff at Hazel­tine, St. An­drews, Riviera, Pine­hurst and Bay Hill – where the US PGA Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional is an­nu­ally played – as well as other top-level golf cour­ses world­wide. “He was a true gen­tle­man, one of the great­est ever to play the game and a truly iconic fig­ure in sport,” said R and A chief ex­ec­u­tive Martin Slum­bers. “His con­tri­bu­tion to the Open Cham­pi­onship was, and re­mains, im­mea­sur­able. He will be missed and for­ever re­mem­bered by all at the R and A and through­out the world of golf.” Player re­called how they be­gan as ri­vals and be­came fast friends as years passed. “He was sim­ply a dear friend for over 60 years… and I will miss him ter­ri­bly,” Player said. “Arnold Palmer sim­ply tran­scended the game of golf. He was in­spi­ra­tional to so many and lived his life to the fullest. He had a slash­ing, dash­ing style ac­com­pa­nied with a know­ing smile. He al­ways made an ef­fort, even when the odds were stacked against him. I will raise my glass and toast your life tonight my friend. Rest in peace.

I love you.”

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