Arnold Palmer, the American legend who has been known as one of the best professional golfers of all times and has been the most famous athlete in the history of golf, has left this world on Sunday afternoon, at Pittsburgh hospital due to heart complications at the age of 87, having celebrated his 87th birthday just two weeks ago.
According to his agent Alastair Johnson, he was admitted in the hospital on Thursday for a heart surgery that was supposed to be done the very next day of his demise, but he weakened over the last few days.
He had a great number of loyal fans and admirers and was named as ‘The King’. Being the greatest and most important part of the sports, he will be remembered and admired forever by millions of his fans all over the world.
Palmer learned golf at a young age and won a tournament in his first year as a professional in 1955 and later, he won the Masters four times and the British Open twice.
Palmer’s great rival, Jack Nicklaus, gave a statement while remembering him as a great friend, he said:
“I just got the news at about 8:45 that Arnold had passed. 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, grand-kids, 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 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.”
Palmer’s last appearance was in 2004 which was his 50th appearance at the Masters and in the same year, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. Two years later, Palmer got retired from professional golf, but still owned a golf club in Florida and consulted for the Golf Channel through which he stayed connected to golf.
Another notable golfer, Tiger Woods, sent his condolences through Twitter: