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Arnold Palmer, golf legend and former Wake Forest star, dead at 87

PITTSBURGH – Golf legend Arnold Palmer died Sunday in Pittsburgh at the age of 87, according to multiple sources.

Palmer was a professional golfer, who is generally considered as one of the greatest players in professional golf history.

He won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, dating back to 1955.

Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

He was part of “The Big Three” in golf during the 1960s, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world.

Palmer attended Wake Forest University, which was then called Wake Forest College, on a golf scholarship.

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch has released the following statement about Palmer’s death:

“No alumnus ever has had a bigger impact on Wake Forest University as an ambassador, role model, benefactor and friend than Arnold Palmer,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch. “Julie and I will always remember his kindness, his gracious hospitality, his love for golf and its culture of respect and fair play — as well as his love for Wake Forest. He was a true gentleman.”

“Wake Forest University has become synonymous with exceptional golf and that extraordinary reputation began with Arnold Palmer.”

Wake Forest has established a memorial page, complete with a remembrance, photo gallery and guest book at

Wyndham Championship Tournament Director Mark Brazil released the following statement:

“It’s a sad, sad day.  Arnold Palmer was a worldwide legend; very few professional athletes can transcend the sports world, but he was one of them.  He had so many Piedmont Triad connections, whether it was his beloved Wake Forest University, the mutual love affair between Mr. Palmer and the old Greater Greensboro Open, now the Wyndham Championship where he played 13 times, or the many special friendships he made through the years.  When he was here in 2008 to help us celebrate our return to Sedgefield Country Club, his love of our PGA TOUR event and his regret at never having won it were clear.  It’s impossible to quantify his contributions to the game – we’ve lost the most important figure in the history of golf.  Rest in peace, Mr. Palmer.”