Presidents, friends and other golfers react to Arnold Palmer’s death

Following is reaction to the death of golfing great Arnold Palmer on Sunday:

JACK NICKLAUS, LONGTIME FRIEND AND RIVAL

“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.”

BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT

“Here’s to The King, who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold.”

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT

“For all who love the game of golf and love to see it played, there has never been a sight quite like Arnold Palmer walking down the fairway toward the 18th green.

“The announcer Vin Scully once said: In a sport that was high society, Arnold Palmer made it ‘High Noon’.”

TIGER WOODS, FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE

“Thanks Arnold for your friendship, counsel and a lot of laughs. Your philanthropy and humility are part of your legend. It’s hard to imagine golf without you or anyone more important to the game than the King.”

JASON DAY, WORLD NUMBER ONE

“So sad to hear Mr. Palmer has passed away. He touched us all and was an incredible role model.”

PETER THOMSON, RIVAL AND FRIEND

“Arnold was the folk hero of golf. Not only was he the greatest personality the game has produced, he was King of the fairways every time he played.

“We were only two weeks apart in age and great rivals. We certainly had some wonderful times together.”

ALASTAIR JOHNSTON, PALMER’S LONGTIME AGENT

“Today marks the passing of an era. Arnold Palmer’s influence, profile and achievements spread far beyond the game of golf. He was an iconic American who treated people with respect and warmth, and built a unique legacy through his ability to engage with fans.”

TIM FINCHEM, PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER

“We have lost a great friend and giant in our sport tonight with the passing of Arnold Palmer. There is no way to adequately express the immense sense of loss that we all feel with this news.

“He obviously meant so much not only to the PGA Tour, but to the entirety of golf by lifting it to newfound visibility and popularity. It is not an exaggeration to say there would be no modern day PGA Tour without Arnold Palmer.”

BILLY PAYNE, CHAIRMAN OF AUGUSTA NATIONAL AND MASTERS TOURNAMENT

“Arnold’s bold and daring approach to the game, combined with his citizenship, warmth, humour, 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.”

UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION

“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.”

RORY MCILROY, FOUR-TIMEs MAJOR CHAMPION

“If it wasn’t for Arnold Palmer we wouldn’t be playing for the obscene amounts of money we play for every week.

“What he has been able to do for the game, the players, I think everyone realises that, respects that, I think that is why you see so many guys go to play (the Arnold Palmer Invitational) every year because they want to pay their respects to the man that paved the way for us.”

DAVIS LOVE III, UNITED STATES RYDER CUP CAPTAIN

“When I think of Arnold Palmer, I think of his natural ability to relate to people, the close bond he had with his father, and how when I first came on Tour, he made young professionals like me feel welcome.

“Tonight our country lost a great sportsman, a great American. As we approach the Ryder Cup this week, our team will keep Mr. Palmer’s family in our prayers and will draw from his strength and determination to inspire us.”

NICK FALDO, BRITISH SIX-TIMES MAJOR CHAMPION

“When Arnold came over in the 60s and wins two in a row, that I believe saved the (British) Open championship, or globalised it as you call it now.”

MARTIN SLUMBERS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE R&A

“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.”

DAVID DUVAL, AMERICAN GOLFER

“Not a single modern golf fan would be a fan without him. The King made golf cool.”

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