Thousands gather to say farewell to Arnold Palmer

His private funeral for family members was on Thursday, but the family of the seven-time major victor wanted a public service to be held after the Ryder Cup.

"3,900 bottles of Arnold Palmers just arrived in Latrobe, Pa. for Tuesday's Arnold Palmer memorial", he wrote.

Mourners packed into Saint Vincent College Basilica in Latrobe, Pa., on Tuesday morning to pay their respects to golf legend and American icon Arnold Palmer, who died on September 25 at age 87.

The US men swept the opening series 4-0 for the first time since 1975, when Palmer was the US team captain at Laurel Valley for a 21-11 triumph.

An emotional Nicklaus read the words he'd written when Palmer was honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor four years ago, saying it was hard now to celebrate and speak about what Palmer meant to his life. "The second nine he was still competing", Nantz said, referring to Palmer's post-playing days that included not only buidling golf courses but also buliding hospitals.

The first time he ever saw Palmer hit a golf ball, Nicklaus was 14-years-old and the only player on a golf course in the pouring rain.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem also paid his respects and said: "When we talk about Arnold's legacy I don't believe it's a legacy of the past".

Finchem hailed Palmer as a sporting pioneer who revolutionized the game for the benefit of future generations of professional golfers. Smile because it happened.' Today I hurt, just like you hurt.

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Former LPGA commissioner and close friend Charlie Mechem opened the tributes and said: "We're all heartbroken by the passing of our dear friend. I met him in 1992, there was a 40-year age gap and it didn't feel like it., he felt like a friend, mentor and a father figure and that was Arnold".

It's a tribute to his impact that his memorial service was carried live on TV - including the Golf Channel, which he helped found - and streamed worldwide by the PGA Tour, a multibillion-dollar industry whose success is rooted in Palmer's popularity. "He took energy from that and turned right around and gave it back".

Between the two, Nicklaus and Palmer, amassed 135 PGA Tour victories.

Arnold Palmer's putter is displayed in his golf bag. Sorenstam focused on the importance of Palmer's philanthropy, which saved her son's life, and said Will eventually grew up to call Palmer his uncle.

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.

He made one more pass in the plane - tail number N1AP - and then soared upward until it disappeared behind a large, white cloud. "He was "The King" of our sport, and he always will be".

An executive jet owned by Palmer did a fly by. "And he always will be".

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