Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest players in the history of golf, has died at the age of 87, a source close to the family confirmed to magazine Golfweek.
It was reported he died on Sunday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Palmer’s health has been in decline for some time.
His great rival Jack Nicklaus said on Twitter Palmer was a “legend” and “icon”, but also “one of my best friends”. “He was the king of our sport and always will be,” Nicklaus wrote.
Palmer turned pro in 1955, winning a tournament in his first year on the tour and eventually claiming seven majors – six of them in the five-year period between 1960 and 1964, when he firmly established himself as a star of world sport and established a rivalry with Jack Nicklaus. Augusta was a particularly happy hunting ground – four of his majors came at the Masters.
The son of a country club greenskeeper was also a trailblazer off the course, leveraging his booming stardom – built on a combination of his good looks, charisma and aggressive play – at the start of sport’s television age to become a walking billboard for corporate America.