Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer has died at the age of 87, the Associated Press confirmed Sunday night.
“The King,” as Palmer was nicknamed, died at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian, his friend Doc Griffin told ESPN.
Two-time Masters’ winner and SiriusXM host Ben Crenshaw spoke about the legacy of Palmer shortly after news had broke about his passing.
“This is hitting me pretty hard like it is the rest of the golfing world,” Crenshaw said. “I feel so many things. I feel so lucky to have met him and played with him and known him over the years.”
Crenshaw added that Palmer wasn’t only a great golfer, he was a kind and patient man off the course as well.
“I really don’t think there has been an athlete in sports who has treated people better than Arnold Palmer,” Crenshaw said. “There was no one who was more influential in the game. He touched so many lives.”
Tiger Woods took to Twitter Sunday night to pay his respects to Palmer, calling him a “legend” and thanking him for his friendship.
Palmer’s Hall of Fame career spanned more than five decades and countless achievements, including being named the PGA Player of the Year in 1960 and 1962. He was also named to the United States’ Ryder Cup team six times, and was a captain twice.
Palmer, a Pennsylvania native, racked up seven major titles and 62 tour wins during his storied golf career.
According to Palmer’s website, his love for the game of golf started when he was four years old and continued into his teen years when he won two Pennsylvania high school championships. From there, Palmer competed in amateur events and led the Wake Forest University golf team. After serving in the Coast Guard for three years Palmer returned to college and won the U.S. Amateur in 1954. The next year, his legendary professional career began.
For those who aren’t familiar with the sporting legend, there’s still a good chance his name rings a bell. An “Arnold Palmer,” popularized by the famous golfer, is made by mixing one part iced tea and one part lemonade.
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Photo credit: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack