Golf legend Jack Nicklaus remembered his dear friend Arnold Palmer who died Sunday from heart complications at the age of 87.
In an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Varney & Co., Nicklaus called Palmer, also known as the “King of Golf,” a “great friend” and a great competitor. The pair had a warm rivalry that endured many years of competition.
“Arnold was a great friend. He was a great friend to the game of golf, a great friend to the sporting world. He liked to do the things the right way. He was sort of the one who popularized the game of golf from a fan standpoint, on television,” Nicklaus told host Stuart Varney.
The Nicklaus-Palmer rivalry started when the two legends went head-to-head during the 1962 U.S. Open. Nicklaus defeated Palmer by three shots in a playoff, earning Nicklaus his first professional win in a major championship.
“Arnold and I spent more time trying to beat each other than we did trying to beat the field. We were too interested in beating each other and we had a lot of fun doing it.”
Nicklaus said Palmer was responsible for driving the game of golf’s popularity both on TV, and among the masses.
“He was the king of the game and always will be. We all owe him a lot in the game of golf. I think a lot of people can learn an awful lot from Arnold Palmer,” Nicklaus said.
Palmer won seven major championships including four Masters, two British Opens and one U.S. Open. He won 62 tournaments in his PGA Tour career and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012.