Jack Nicklaus, other players say farewell to Arnold Palmer

Thousands honor golf legend Arnold Palmer                      WMAR

Golfer Jack Nicklaus arrives for a memorial service for golfer Arnold Palmer in the Basilica at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

The program, titled "Arnold Palmer: A Life Well Played", started with Captain Pete Luster, co-pilot of N1AP, circling the Basilica on a Cessna C750.

Palmer died on September 25, at the age of 87.

A private funeral service was held last week.

Palmer's co-pilot, Pete Luster, flew his plane around Saint Vincent College for almost an hour before the service, tipping the left wing as he zoomed by.

Palmer's repeatedly circled over the college, tipping the wing.

Palmer, one of golf's greatest players whose huge popularity drew a legion of fans known as "Arnie's Army", was honoured during a memorial service at the Saint Vincent Basilica Parish in Latrobe that lasted two hours and 20 minutes.

But the most poignant adulation came from Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders.

The service to celebrate the extraordinary life of Arnold Palmer was as powerfully moving, personal, upbeat and patriotic as the legendary golfer, himself.

"I don't believe that when we talk about Arnold's legacy, that it's a legacy that's in the past", Finchem said.

Jack Nicklaus, other players say farewell to Arnold Palmer
Jack Nicklaus, other players say farewell to Arnold Palmer

Not a lot of us were alive during Palmer's career, but, when taking a look back, he has done more for his respected sport than nearly anyone in sports history.

"We saw him in cut-off sweat trousers and a tee shirt", Saunders shared, "and I can tell you there is not a big difference from the man you saw on TV and the man we saw at home".

A touching tribute from one of only three men to know what it feels like to wear four green jackets about one of the other three men who also knows what that feels like.

There are a handful of enlightening tales, none more than a story regarding a phone call from Saunders to Palmer. I was amazed by how people reacted to him.

Mechem set a happy tone by pointing to a large photograph of Palmer with a grin that made everyone feel so important.

"Arnold Palmer was golf's greatest ambassador, both home and overseas". Patterson said Tuesday at the end of his weekly news conference that he is passionate in his job, and could count about six times in 19 seasons saying something in postgame that he later regretted.

"I intend to do that", Saunders said, "and make him proud". He died at UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh while awaiting cardiac surgery. I told him I loved him.

Guest watch a fly-over at Saint Vincent Basilica.

“He was the king of our sport, ” Nicklaus said.

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