Reactions to Arnold Palmer’s death on Sunday
Reaction to the death of golf great Arnold Palmer on Sunday at age 87 in Pittsburgh:
“Arnold transcended the game of golf. He was more than a golfer or even 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.” — Jack Nicklaus
“He meant so much to the game and to me personally. I knew that I could always call him for advice, and I looked forward to seeing him at Bay Hill and the Masters. … It was an honor and privilege to have known Arnold, and I’m forever grateful for his friendship.” — Tiger Woods
“Here’s to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.” — President Barack Obama
“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. … Muff, I will raise my glass and toast your life tonight my friend, and hope to be reunited for another round together in time.” — Gary Player
“I’ve respected a number of players who came before me, but Arnold Palmer was my model on and off the course. As an amateur I played my very first practice round at the Masters with him at his invitation. I saw how much time and attention he gave to fans, the media and worthy charitable causes. I’m like every other fan of his enormous influence on the game and his great generosity off the course. I’m saddened by his death but I’m a better player and perhaps a better person thanks to his example.” — Phil Mickelson
“You changed the game with your charisma and personality. Every player, me included, should thank you for what you brought to our great game. You had this incredible ability to open the eyes of the world to the beauty of golf. You played with presidents, celebrities and CEOs. In doing so you opened the game to commercialization. For that I thank you.” — Greg Norman
“No one has had a greater impact on those who play our great sport or who are touched by it. It has been said many times over in so many ways, but beyond his immense talent, Arnold transcended our sport with an extraordinarily appealing personality and genuineness that connected with millions, truly making him a champion of the people. The fact that his popularity never waned more than a quarter century after his last competitive victory speaks volumes to the man, the icon and the legendary figure he was.
More than his words, Arnold’s actions spoke to his unequivocal love of golf and belief that no individual can be or should be bigger than the game. Arnold totally gave of himself to support golf and its growth. He has served as a role model for generations of PGA Tour members in ways large and small. The game, and all of us involved with it, are so much richer for having had the fortune to have Arnold willingly serve as its global champion and ambassador.” — PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem
“Arnold’s bold and daring approach to the game, combined with his citizenship, warmth, humor, humility and grace, were truly the signature of the man that we came to know, and will fondly remember, as The King. His presence at Augusta National will be sorely missed, but his impact on the Masters remains immeasurable — and it will never wane.” — Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.
“Arnold was the folk hero of golf. Not only was he the greatest personality the game has produced, he was King of the fairways every time he played. We were only two weeks apart in age and great rivals. We certainly had some wonderful times together.” — Peter Thomson
“Barbara and I mourn The King, Arnie, the people’s champion. He brought golf to millions by his daring and caring. We miss him already.” — former President George H.W. Bush
“The world has lost an original, a sports legend, a true gentleman, and a generous and compassionate human being. I have lost a friend. … I first learned of Arnold Palmer from my father. He was a member of ‘Arnie’s Army.’ He didn’t even play golf — and he loved ‘The King.’” — former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
“Arnold Palmer defined what it is be a professional inside and outside the ropes. All of golf says ‘thanks Arnold.’” — Peter Jacobsen
“Legends never die … you will live on forever Arnie … I will never forget the bear hug in front of the clubhouse at Augusta, to watching you hit your final tee shot there, and to spending time with you in the locker room at Bay Hill … thank you for being you and giving me the opportunity to do what I get to do every day! I Love you as did everyone. RIP The KING!!” — Rickie Fowler
“Without question Arnold’s participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalize golf. The fact he was loved and recognized by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on.” — European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley
“The Legends of all Legends in the game of golf! RIP my friend, always loved u and always will! God Bless my Friend! (hash)AP” — John Daly
“I’m one of the fortunate folks to have spent time with the King. Incredibly blessed to have known him.” — David Duval
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