Arnold Palmer, 87
His was a life well played. When golfers today look around at the big prize money, the television coverage, the sponsorships and the place golf holds in the sports conversation, they can take a 3-iron from their bag, hold it aloft and thank Arnold Palmer .
“He was The King of our sport and always will be,” Jack Nicklaus said.
Palmer never much cared for the regal honorific. His roots were in western Pennsylvania, and with sinewy wrists, a whip of a swing, a swaggering glint in his eye, he carried an entire sport into a new age. Palmer and TV came along at the same time.
“If it wasn’t for Arnold, golf wouldn’t be as popular as it is today,” Tiger Woods said.
Palmer won seven majors and 62 PGA tournaments, and his rivalry with Nicklaus gave golf its juice.
Palmer had a daring game, gambler’s instinct and a connection to the gallery that liberated golf from its country-club enclaves.
Arnold Palmer won seven majors and 62 PGA tournaments. The Associated Press