Tributes have poured in from across the world following the passing of golfing legend Arnold Palmer on Sunday (25 September) at the age of 87. The American golfer fondly referred to as 'The King' died at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he was undergoing heart tests since Thursday (22 September).
Palmer is credited as being one of the pioneers of golf and was an accomplished player with 62 wins on the PGA Tour, which included seven major titles. His last public appearance according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazzette was at the 2016 Masters, where he was joined by long-time friends and rivals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player for the ceremonial opening tee shot.
Nicklaus led the way in paying tributes to the legendary golfer, who is credited to bringing the sport to the masses and making it interesting for TV audiences.
"Arnold is the reason golf enjoys the popularity it does today. He made golf attractive to the television-viewing public. There never has been anyone like him before in the game of golf, and there probably won't be another like him again," Nicklaus said, as quoted by the Telegraph.
Apart from his great rival and friend, tributes have poured in from across the globe from the sporting and non-sporting community including President of the United States Barack Obama.
Tiger Woods led the tributes from the current PGA Tour players with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson paying respects following the 'The King's' passing.
"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." — Phil Mickelson