Statements in reaction to the death of Arnold Palmer:
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.
Billy Payne, Augusta National chairman
The very essence of the Masters is twofold: to summon nothing less than greatness from the men who annually compete for the title of Masters champion, and to inspire people from all over the world through the magnificence of the game of golf. History at Augusta National will show that Arnold answered the calling for Masters greatness throughout his career, winning the Green Jacket in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964. The inspiration we drew from Arnold Palmer, however, is what we celebrate now and forever.
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.
Our thoughts are with Arnold’s beloved wife Kit and his entire family. We look forward to the 2017 Masters Tournament, when we will do our very best to appropriately pay our respects to Arnold Palmer – a Masters legend, our game’s finest ambassador, and a hero to generations of people throughout the world.
Most importantly, we, his friends at Augusta National Golf Club, will always love him.
Amy Palmer Saunders, Palmer's daughter
My family and I are deeply moved by the outpouring of support and love that we have received from the countless friends and admirers of my father. These first hours have been challenging but we are comforted knowing that he was loved by so many and so deeply. Words cannot begin to express the gratitude we have for the many people who have offered to help us in this time of sadness. My father would be so pleased to know that he is being thought of and recognized this way.
Over the next couple days, we will be finalizing arrangements for his services and until then, we all appreciate the kindness everyone has shown us. On behalf of my father and family, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Arnie was the best friend the game of golf will ever have.
Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive
It is with great sadness that we have awoken to hear the news of Arnold Palmer's passing. He was a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport. His contribution to The Open Championship was, and remains, immeasurable. He will be missed and forever remembered by all at The R&A and throughout the world of golf as a charismatic and global champion of our game.
Keith Pelley, European Tour chief executive
It is with great sadness that the European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe learned of the passing of Arnold Palmer. Without question Arnold’s participation in The Open Championship in the early 1960s was the catalyst to truly internationalise golf and the fact he was loved and recognised by everyone across the globe, whether they be fans of golf or not, is testament to his charismatic legacy that will live on. It was a proud day for everyone at the European Tour when we made Arnold an Honorary Member in 1995 and in this week of the playing of the 41st Ryder Cup in particular, we remember fondly his time as a six-time Ryder Cup player and two-time captain. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.
We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf's greatest ambassador, at age 87. 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.
Jack Peter, World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum president
To us, Arnold was a World Golf Hall of Fame Member. But as news stories will reveal, he was so much more than a legendary golfer. He was a global hero and one of the greatest humanitarians who ever lived. It's nearly impossible to start a conversation about the history of golf without mentioning Arnold's name in the first few sentences. He captured the hearts and minds of so many through his unmistakable golf swing, picturesque smile and larger-than-life personality. Mr. Palmer will be greatly missed and his legacy will forever be celebrated at the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum.
Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO
Arnold was a legend, yet somehow it was he who always made others feel special. He not only had his "army" of fans, but he also had an army of friends and partners. Both Tim Neher and I were honored to be partners with him in the Golf Channel, and to extend one of his many legacies. The world has lost a great champion and icon.
Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, WME/IMG co-CEOs
Arnold Palmer set the standard for athletes in life and in business with his passion, charisma, and dedication. We will forever remember him as IMG’s first client and a man who profoundly shaped the modern-day sports industry. On behalf of all of our employees and partners, we send our deepest condolences to Arnold’s family, friends and fans.
John Foster, Desert Classic Charities chairman of the board
It is with immensely heavy hearts that the entire CareerBuilder Challenge staff mourns the passing of Arnold Palmer. Arnold was golf’s ultimate people’s champion and, as a five-time winner of our tournament, our most decorated champion. His golfing history is indelibly linked to ours and spans every generation of golfer who has played the CareerBuilder Challenge – from winning our inaugural tournament in 1960 and making the 1973 edition of our tournament his 62nd and final PGA Tour victory, while holding close his friendships with Bob Hope and our numerous celebrity players, to serving as host to our 50th tournament in 2009. Yet, as we came to know, Arnold the man was exponentially greater than his countless golfing accolades. Arnold’s spirit will continue to live on in the Coachella Valley through his triumphs and fans, the moments and stories his many pro-am partners hold near and dear, and that famous, warm smile that shone as bright as the La Quinta sun to every person he gave an autograph to and posed for a photo with. Our deepest and most sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his wife, Kit, his kids, grandkids, great grandchildren, and all of his family.
Marci Doyle Baker, Arnold Palmer Invitational COO
It is with great sadness that we confirm Arnold Palmer, 87, passed away Sunday evening. He was in a Pittsburgh hospital awaiting cardiac surgery when his condition degraded.
The sports world will remember Mr. Palmer as one of America’s great golfers. His fans, friends and family will remember him as a great leader, philanthropist, entrepreneur, mentor, and loving father, grandfather and husband. His impact on our lives is immeasurable and will continue to be felt through his legacy.
We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our volunteers, partners, friends and fans. The messages of love and concern mean a great deal to the Palmer family and all of us who worked with him every day.
The 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard will be an exceptionally memorable event where we will continue to honor Mr. Palmer’s legacy.