Arnold Palmer 1929-2016
Tributes are being paid to Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s great champions and most popular figures.
Palmer won The Open for the first time at Royal Birkdale in 1961. In front of an army of enthralled fans, the charismatic American overcame the poor weather conditions to secure a one shot victory over Dai Rees and lift the famous Claret Jug. He became Champion Golfer of the Year again at Royal Troon the following year with a six-shot victory over Kel Nagle and will always be remembered for the huge part he played in the growth of the Championship.
The following statement was issued by The R&A when the sad news was received that he had passed away at the age of 87.
"It is with great sadness that we have awoken to hear the news of Arnold Palmer's passing. He was a true gentlemen, 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 and 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." Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A