“I hurt like you hurt,” Jack Nicklaus leads tributes to Arnold Palmer at memorial service


Jack Nicklaus was fighting back tears as he led the tributes to Arnold Palmer in a moving speech at the King's memorial service on Tuesday.

Nicklaus's tribute centred on the pair's special bond and moved many of those in attendance to tears at the Saint Vincent Basilica Parish at Saint Vincent College.

"I hurt like you hurt," he said.

"You don't lose a friend of 60 years and not feel an enormous loss."

"He was an everyday man, 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."

"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."

Friends, family and golfers remembered and celebrated Palmer's life including Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

One of the most touching tributes was by the King's Among the more poignant tributes was Palmer's grandson, Sam Saunders, who currently plays on the PGA Tour.

He said: "There wasn't a big difference between the man you saw on TV and the man we knew at home.

"He was in the hospital preparing for surgery the next morning," Saunders said. "He told me to take care of my babies, my entire family. I intend to do that and make him proud.

"I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me back. That was the last thing we said to each other, and I will cherish that the rest of my life.

"And I'll take the best piece of advice he gave me, to talk less and listen more."

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said he had known Palmer since 1957 and said "he had this other thing."

"It was the incredible ability to make you feel good not just about him, but about yourself. I was amazed by how people reacted to him," said Finchem.

"He took energy from that and turned right around and gave it back."