Arnie May Be Done but Memories Linger

By George WhiteApril 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
Arnold Daniel Palmer played his last competitive round at the Masters Friday. A throng of fans will have to follow someone else now. Many of them wrote e-mails following a column penned earlier this month. Here is a sampling of those who have been touched by him down through the years:
  • My father saw (Palmer) at a tournament at Whitemarsh C.C. outside of Philadelphia. He said there was a little kid trying to get across the bridge and Arnold saw him and all the adults were pushing the kid aside. Arnold went over to the kid picked him up and put him on his shoulders and helped him across the bridge.
    Dennis McMahon
  • Here is my almost 50-year-old Palmer memory: My now 82-year-old mother had been to the Panama Open. She could not stop talking about a young golfer she had seen that day. She took a small black and white snapshot of him. When I see that snapshot of Arnold Palmer, I think how fortunate my Mom was to have that memory to treasure.
    Jackie Isbell Johnston
    Murfreesboro, TN

  • I did see Mr Palmer play here in Mobile, Ala., at an early worthy benefit tournament in 1959 and 1960. He won both events. Later, I saw him play in Pensacola, New Orleans and Atlanta AC in 1976 at the US Open. Each time I stopped him to speak and he was as gracious as he now still is. He remembered Mobile fondly and gave me an autograph each time. He may not accept the 'King' mantle, but most of us old guys still say: 'Long Live The King'
    Bill Roberts
    Mobile, AL

  • I have met him (Palmer), played one round of golf with him in a pro-am years ago, and when my wife and I visited Bay Hill, he inquired if our breakfast was OK. How many other athletes, lodge owners or whatever, even give a damn if their guests are satisfied? He just exudes class in every action. He was, is, and will always be my idol for how a man should behave. God bless Arnold Palmer.
    Joel Goodman
    Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

  • I'm 58 years old and in my 50th year of golf. I happened to meet Mr. Palmer in Portland, Ore. It was at the Portland Country Club the last day of a tournament. I was over on the driving range when Mr. Palmer showed up. I introduced myself and asked if he would allow me to watch and ask him some questions after he finished. He agreed. After about 30 minutes or so, he finished and said, So where would you like to start?
    We chatted about his career, East Coast courses vs. West Coast, club manufacturers, and grips. I was just a young man in his 30s, a spectator, and a nobody to him. However, Mr. Palmer took the time to speak with me about something nobody had ever asked him about (his grips.) The word 'The Ambassador' fits perfectly. Ironically, when we saw each other at The Bob Hope Chrysler Classis some 10 years later, he remembered our conversation and me. He's quite a MAN....
    Larry Wright
    Citrus Heights, Ca.

  • I still remember Arnold Palmer joining the Eastman Chemical guys in their room at the Sedgefield Inn (in Greensboro, N.C.) to have a drink and visit with us on a Sunday night. We were complete nobodys who just offered him a free drink when we saw him in the hallway - and he showed up a hour or so later to take us up on our offer. That just blew my mind. He could not have been more friendly, down to earth, and gracious.
    Lee Keith
    Greensboro, NC

  • My fondest memory of Arnold Palmer came in a Seniors tournament in Lexington, Ky., in the mid-70s. The last day of the tournament turned out to be extremely hot and everyone was just overheated. At the end of the tournament I was in the parking lot of the hotel which was located at the golf course when Arnold came out and was immediately mobbed by probably 50-75 kids asking for an autograph. Arnold was completely soaked with perspiration and looked to be completely out of gas. But being the consummate professional and good person that I felt he was, he said to the kids, 'If you kids will let me go to my car and change my shoes, I will come back and take care of you all.' Well, I stayed around to see if Arnold was true to his word, and sure enough he came back in about 10 minutes and signed autographs until the last person was gone.

    Three years ago when I was at one of the Masters practice rounds I followed Arnold for the entire 18 holes. And guess what, he had not changed one bit from the time I watched him in person in Kentucky. He was extremely cordial to the crowd the entire round. In my estimation Arnold, whether he wants to be or not, is GOLF. I would have loved to have been his next door neighbor.
    Joe Lassiter
    Atlanta, GA

  • A few years back, I had a chance to follow Mr. Palmer, Jack, Chi Chi and Trevino at the U.S. Senior Open at Cherry Hills. What an amazing foursome! What an amazing day! Mr. Palmer signed my hat and chatted with me for about three minutes as though I was the only one there. Truly a day I will never forget. To me he will always be 'The King.'
    Bill Wood
  • I first heard of him in the early 60s from a priest who taught me how to play golf, and eventually sold me his clubs with paint on them for $2.00....a fee he knew I could come up with. Then he shared his golfing magazines, and urged some of us to try the game more. I stuck with baseball-basketball-football-track and field. In retrospect, I wish I'd given more attention to imitating Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player back then. They certainly served up a legacy of achievements, but behaved admirably while pursuing their dreams of winning professional tournaments.
    Bob Nash
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  • Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

    He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

    Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

    Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

    Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

    Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

    "I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

    The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

    Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

    "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

    McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

    When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

    Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

    Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

    While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

    Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

    Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

    By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

    Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    "I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

    But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.

    DP World Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the DP World Tour Championship

    With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

    Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

    The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

    "I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."