Golf legend Arnold Palmer dies; aged 87

Golf legend Arnold Palmer died on Sunday (Sept 25) evening in Pittsburgh where he had been since Thursday undergoing heart tests, according to news reports. He was 87.

The cause of his death was not immediately known, reported Daily Mail.

Palmer was a seven-time major winner - only six players in history won more - who brought golf to the masses and became the most beloved figure in the game. He drew legions of fans known as "Arnie's Army" and helped propel the sport just as television was gaining in popularity.

He won the first of his five West Penn Amateur titles in 1947 as a senior at Latrobe High School in Pennsylvania, and went on to win the US Amateur (1954) and 62 times on the PGA Tour, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

He had suffered from failing health since 2015 and made his last public appearance on the first tee of the 2016 Masters.

Palmer was born in 1929 in Pennsylvania where his father was a groundskeeper in a country club. He attended Wake Forest University on a golf scholarship and later did a three-year stint in the US Coast Guard, reported Golfweek.

sujint@sph.com.sg