Mickelson among many to issue statements on Arnie

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2016, 4:10 pm

Statements in reaction to the death of Arnold Palmer:

Phil Mickelson

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 Masters Tournament, together with the membership of Augusta National Golf Club, joins the global sports and golf community in honoring the memory of Arnold Palmer.

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.


Tom Watson

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.


USGA

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.

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Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday

By Will GrayOctober 21, 2021, 3:52 pm

Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.

European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.

Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.

Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.

Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.

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Pavin's season nearly ends after slow play penalty

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2018, 1:50 pm

Corey Pavin's season on the PGA Tour Champions nearly came to an end because of a slow play penalty.

Penalties for pace are often discussed or threatened, but rarely doled out on either the PGA Tour or the over-50 circuit. But that changed Sunday during the final round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, where Pavin was told by a rules official after completing his round that he would receive a 1-stroke penalty for slow play.

The penalty was on the surface rather harmless, turning an even-par 72 into a 1-over 73 and dropping Pavin into a tie for 15th. But this was the first event of a three-tournament postseason for PGA Tour Champions players, and only the top 54 in points advanced to this week's Invesco QQQ Championship.

Pavin, who has two top-10 finishes in 20 starts this season, barely held on at 53rd place after the penalty was enforced.

Slow play discussions came up earlier this season surrounding Bernhard Langer at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, but Golf Channel analyst Lanny Wadkins expressed his surprise on the telecast that it was Pavin who got a shot added to his score.

"Of all the things to happen with all the times I have played - I can't even count the number of rounds - I never thought Corey Pavin was a slow player," Wadkins said. "All the guys we know are slow players have never been penalized out here. Where has this been for the last 15 years?"

The subject of the penalty also raised an eyebrow from Stephen Ames, who finished alongside Pavin in 15th place while Langer finished second behind Woody Austin:

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Azinger 'lobbied' to captain Ryder Cup team a second time

By Rex HoggardOctober 22, 2018, 1:47 pm

In 2008, Paul Azinger became the first U.S. Ryder Cup captain in nearly a decade to lead a team to victory, doing so at Valhalla with his innovative “pod” system and a player-driven approach to leadership.

In the wake of that victory there were many, including the vast majority of his players, who said Azinger deserved a second chance to captain, but at the time the 12-time PGA Tour winner appeared to be undecided and the PGA of America named Corey Pavin the 2010 captain.

On Monday, Azinger was named NBC Sports/Golf Channel’s lead analyst starting next year and among many revelations during an extended interview on “Morning Drive” he explained how much he wanted a second chance to captain.

“I wanted to do it again, I lobbied to do it again after we won in ’08, but I think I waited a little too long and they had already made a decision,” Azinger said. “The excuse I got was that there are more captains than there are Ryder Cups and I thought that was fair, but then they asked [Tom] Watson to do it again shortly afterward and I was like, ‘What, huh?’”

Watson was named captain of the 2014 U.S. team, which lost by five points and led to the creation of the Ryder Cup task force, which adopted many of Azinger’s ideas including his use of four-player pods.

It’s even more curious that Azinger was never given a second chance considering that Davis Love III was also named a captain twice, first in 2012 and again in ’16.

“I didn’t do it again, I didn’t carry the flag to Europe in 2010, which is fine, and now I’m never going to get to do it again,” he said.

As for who may be named the next U.S. captain after another loss to the Europeans last month in France Azinger could only speculate. “Looks like Wisconsin [site of the 2020 matches at Whistling Straits] and Steve Stricker are going to be a perfect match,” he said.

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Garcia wins rain-shortened Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 22, 2018, 12:48 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain -- Sergio Garcia won his third Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Monday, finishing the rain-shortened European Tour event four shots ahead of Shane Lowry.

Garcia shot a 2-under 69 for a 12-under 201 total in the 54-hole tournament at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain. Lowry shot a 66 in the final round.

Garcia, the tournament host, had a three-shot lead before the turn when stormy conditions suspended play on Sunday. He had three birdies and a bogey when play resumed on Monday, enough to add to his Valderrama titles in 2011 and 2017.

''It's amazing to be able to win here at Valderrama three times. It's a dream come true,'' the Spaniard said. ''This golf course is so challenging and for me to be able to go out there in the conditions we played in all week and shoot three rounds under par means a lot. I'm very proud of that and really excited about the week.''


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


Lowry was as close as one shot off the lead after a round that included seven birdies. His title chances ended with a double bogey at the par-3 15th hole.

''Obviously Shane was playing well, he got close to me, then unfortunately he doubled 15 and that gave me a little bit of an extra gap, with his double and my birdie on 14 opening it to four, and we kept it there until the end so that was nice,'' Garcia said.

Lee Westwood (70) finished tied for fifth.

Tournament officials reduced the event to 54 holes on Saturday after bad weather had forced several delays.

It was the 15th European Tour win for Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion.