It is with heavy heart to see the entire sporting world mourn the loss of one of golf’s iconic faces.
Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer died on Sunday, September 25 at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburg where he was said to be admitted since Thursday. According to The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Palmer – a four-time Masters champion -died due to “aggregation of cardiological” issues. He was 87.
Arnold Palmer Enterprises CEO Alastair Johnson broke the unfortunate news to The Associated Press, saying that the golfing legend has passed “Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems.”
According to WTAE, a public memorial service to commemorate Palmer’s life and success is scheduled on October 4 at Saint Vincent College, while a private funeral is set “later this week.”
Palmer’s deteriorating health has been a topic in the sporting industry prior to his. But despite his frail condition, he was able to make an appearance at the Masters last April, together with fellow legend Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. The “Big Three”, as they are commonly called was complete once again. Their presence, especially Palmer’s, cemented their legacy in the sport’s high-rise pillars and game-changers.
Numerous sources who had attended the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Masters said that it was his “last real public appearance”. Instead, he acted “as an onlooker on the 1st tee” and set aside taking part in the traditional opening drive. Golf Digest reported that it was a “nagging shoulder injury” that prevented Palmer from fulfilling “his duties as honorary starter” in the event.
In 2014, Palmer had “a pacemaker implant procedure” to address his irregular heartbeat. A year later, he publicly announced that he was suffering from a blood clot caused by deep vein thrombosis, and it required him to take blood thinner.
Known for his distinct flair and charisma, Palmer’s contribution to the sport of golf went beyond the tee. He was one of those who catapulted golf from a “country club pursuit” to what is now one of the grandest and illustrious displays of patience, sportsmanship and skill in recent times. He has won a total of 62 PGA Tours, 7 Major championships and 5 Champions Tour victories, among others.
In 1974, “The King” was one the first 13 golfers to be inducted to the World Golf Hall of Game. 24 years later, he won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award
Golf has lost an icon, a revolutionary name, a trailblazer. Palmer’s contribution to the sport will forever be remembered not only by players past, present and future, but also his family.