Golf legend and seven-time major champion Arnold Palmer died on Sunday in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was 87 years old.
Palmer is widely credited with popularizing professional golf in the United States, with his fan base, dubbed “Arnie’s Army,” lapping up the Pennsylvania native’s go-for-broke style as he won four Masters titles in even-numbered years in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964.
In 1960, Palmer won the Masters in April, then managed to win the United States Open at Cherry Hills in Colorado, outlasting Ben Hogan and a spry amateur named Jack Nicklaus for his second major of the year. He then traveled overseas to compete in the Open Championship, suggesting to a Pittsburgh sports writer that he wanted to capture what he helped term and shape as the modern Grand Slam along with the PGA Championship. Though Palmer came up just short of winning the Claret Jug at St. Andrews, his accomplishment captivated the nation.
Palmer went on to win the 1961 and ’62 Open Championships.
The Wake Forest product, however, never did win the PGA Championship, finishing second three times (1964, ’68, ’70).
Palmer is survived by his second wife, Kit, daughters Amy Saunders and Peggy Wears, six grandchildren, including Sam Saunders, who plays on the PGA Tour.