Yesterday, with the passing of Arnold Palmer. the world of golf and sports lost a beloved icon
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were among those quick to comment about this great loss and Jack issued the below statement to the media about the passing of his dear friend. On the Jack Nicklaus social media platforms this collage (right) has been displayed.
Jack Nicklaus said “I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend—and that golf lost a great friend.
“At this point I don’t know what happened, and I suppose it is not important what happened. What is important is that we just lost one of the incredible people in the game of golf and in all of sports. My friend—many people’s friend—just wore out. I know he was in Pittsburgh trying to find out how to make himself better. That’s what Arnold has always tried to do. He has always been a fighter and he never gave up on anything. He didn’t give up even now. Maybe his body did, but I know Arnold’s will and spirit did not.
“I wish I had another chance to talk to him, but I am so glad we talked a couple weeks ago on his birthday (Sept. 10), when he sounded great. So Barbara and I are just in shock and incredibly saddened. Our hearts, thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to Kit, his kids, grandkids, great grandchildren, and his entire loving family.
“He was one of my best friends, closest friends, and he was for a long, long time. I will miss him greatly.
“Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even a great golfer. He was an icon. He was a legend. Arnold was someone who was a pioneer in his sport. He took the game from one level to a higher level, virtually by himself. Along the way, he had millions of adoring fans—Barbara and I among them. We were great competitors, who loved competing against each other, but we were always great friends along the way. Arnold always had my back, and I had his. We were always there for each other. That never changed.
“He was the king of our sport and always will be.”
The USGA said: “Arnold Palmer will always be a champion, in every sense of the word. He inspired generations to love golf by sharing his competitive spirit, displaying sportsmanship, caring for golfers and golf fans, and serving as a lifelong ambassador for the sport. Our stories of him not only fill the pages of golf’s history books and the walls of the museum, but also our own personal golf memories. The game is indeed better because of him, and in so many ways, will never be the same.”
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “It is with great sadness that we have awoken to hear the news of Arnold Palmer’s passing. He was a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport. His contribution to The Open Championship was, and remains, immeasurable. He will be missed and forever remembered by all at The R&A and throughout the world of golf as a charismatic and global champion of our game.”#
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “It is with great sadness that The European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe learned of the passing of Arnold Palmer. Without question Arnold’s participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalise golf and the fact he was loved and recognised by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on.
“It was a proud day for everyone at The European Tour when we made Arnold an Honorary Member in 1995 and in this week of the playing of the 41st Ryder Cup in particular, we remember fondly his time as a six time Ryder Cup player and two time captain. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”
On his website – www.garyplayer.com – Gary Player said, “Vivienne and I just woke up on the farm this morning to the sad news that our friend Arnold Palmer passed away peacefully last night in the USA.
“I have so many vivid memories of our time together competing around the world, with our families, helping each other’s charities, and just being together. Arnold was many things to many people and undoubtedly made golf more popular, but to me he was simply a dear friend for over 60 years. Of course, like anybody we had our differences but these never stood in the way of our relationship and I will miss him terribly. He could be difficult and demanding but also blessed with charisma, charm and patience. 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 was loved by all even when they did not know him. He always made an effort, even when the odds were stacked against him. Our prayers go out to Kit and his entire loving family.
“Muff, I will raise my glass and toast your life tonight my friend, and hope to be reunited for another round together in time. Rest In Peace. I love you.”
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