Golfing legend Arnold Palmer passed away Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh due to complications from his heart.
Nicknamed “The King” because of his impact on the game, Palmer went on to win seven major championships during his professional career. The 87-year-old won the Masters four times, The Open twice and the U.S. Open once.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf’s greatest ambassador,” the United States Golf Association said in a statement. “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.“
We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf's greatest ambassador, at age 87. pic.twitter.com/iQmGtseNN1
— USGA (@USGA) September 26, 2016
Palmer was born Sept. 10, 1929 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and was the oldest of four children. His father, Deacon became the club pro in 1933 at Latrobe Country Club and that’s where it all started for Arnold.
“The King” began his career in 1954 and quickly rose to the top as he picked up his first PGA Tour victory at the 1955 Canadian Open during his rookie season. He fired a first-round score of 64 which remained his lowest opening round of his entire career.
In all, Palmer’s 62 titles on the PGA Tour puts him fifth all-time behind only Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Sam Snead. Palmer was twice named the PGA Player of the Year (1960 and ’62).
“I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend — and that golf lost a great friend,” Jack Nicklaus said in a statement. “We just lost one of the incredible people in the game of golf and in all of sports.”
I just got the news at about 8:45 that Arnold had passed. I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend (continued) pic.twitter.com/skehUsQgww
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) September 26, 2016
The 87-year-old won the Masters in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964 and is tied with Tiger Woods for the second most wins all-time at the Masters.
One of his greatest victories came at Colorado’s Cherry Hills Country Club in 1960, when he won his only U.S. Open title. Down seven shots entering the final round, Palmer birdied six of the first seven holes en route to a final-round 65. His 7-under par performance was the lowest ever final-round score by a U.S. Open champion at the time.