Golfing icon Arnold Palmer dies at age 87

Arnold Palmer gives a thumbs up before the ceremonial first tee before the first round of the Masters golf tournament Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (NBC12) – Golfing legend Arnold Palmer, 87, passed away Sunday, according to Golf Digest and ESPN golf writer Jason Sobel.

Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest in the history of golf and known as The King,

Born in Pennsylvania in 1929, Palmer came by the game naturally as the son of a golf pro and greenskeeper who cut down some clubs and gave his son his first swing at the game.

“Hit it hard, boy,” Palmer recalled his dad saying. “Go find it and hit it hard again.”

Palmer broke 100 by the time he was 8 years old and the makings of a Hall-of-Fame career began to fall into place.

Palmer won 62 times on the PGA Tour and is fifth on the all-time wins list. He became the first person to win four times at the Masters, slipping on the famed green jacked in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964.

Palmer also won 10 times on the Champions tour.

Every year, Palmer, along with Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, would hit the ceremonial first shot at the Masters. Palmer missed the first tee shot in 2016 amid ill health, but donned the tournament’s signature green jacket and stood on the first tee to watch his peers keep the treasured tradition.

 

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