Worldwide tributes continued for Arnold Palmer, the golf icon who died on Sunday at the age of 87 as a public memorial was scheduled for next week in his hometown.
South African legend Gary Player toasted his 1960’s “Big Three” rival in an emotional statement, the 80-year-old saying, “I hope to be reunited for another round together in time.”
Palmer’s grandson, PGA player Sam Saunders, announced a private ceremony will be held for “The King” this week while a public memorial service will be staged on October 4 at St.
Vincent’s College Basilica in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Alastair Johnston, the chairman of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, said the decision was made to delay the public ceremony until after the Ryder Cup so it does not overshadow the biennial US-Europe men’s team golf matches being staged Friday through Sunday at Hazeltine.
“The last thing he would have wanted was the whole golf schedule to be interrupted because of his passing,” Johnston said. The US flag was at half staff at Hazeltine, St. Andrews, Riviera, Pinehurst and Bay Hill -- where the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational is annually played -- as well as other top-level golf courses worldwide.
“He was a true gentleman, one of the greatest ever to play the game and a truly iconic figure in sport,” said R and A chief executive Martin Slumbers.
“His contribution to the Open Championship was, and remains, immeasurable. He will be missed and forever remembered by all at the R and A and throughout the world of golf.”
Player recalled how they began as rivals and became fast friends as years passed.