Arnold Palmer’s memorial service was held today at his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Thousands came to pay their respects to the king on this Tuesday morning, including fellow player Jack Nicklaus.
Nicklaus and Palmer had a bond unlike any other in the game of golf, and it was his speech that moved many to tears. He named his touching speech “My Rival, My Friend”, referring to their relationship on and off the golf course.
“He was an everyday man,” Nicklaus said during his speech. “Everyone’s hero. Arnold managed to remove the ‘I’ from icon and instead let the world share in his greatness.”
“For anyone who has ever loved golf, I’m not sure who needed the other the most,” Nicklaus said. “So let’s just call it a love affair to last a lifetime. The game gave so much to Arnold, but he gave back so much more. Arnold came along when golf needed him most — when TV first embraced the sport of golf — they had a swashbuckling hero, with Arnold as its face.”
“He was the king of our sport, and he always will be,” Nicklaus said. “Like the great (broadcaster) Vin Scully, when he called his last game Sunday night for the Dodgers: ‘Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’ Today I hurt, just like you hurt.
You don’t lose a friend of over 60 years and not feel an enormous loss.
But like my wife always says, ‘The memories are the cushions of life.’ ”
Jack Nicklaus was surrounded by friends and family, who embraced him and his words. I’m sure Arnold was looking down and smiling at his friends sentiments, making the day as beautiful as his life.
Pictures from the service:
*All of these pictures are courtesy of the PGA Tour.