Arnold Palmer, one of the most recognizable names in the historyof golf, and the man who helped make the sport more accessible to fans and would-be golfers alike in the ‘50s and ‘60s, died Sunday in Pittsburgh. He was 87-years-old.

Before Tiger Woods, there was Arnold Palmer

Long before today’s most recognizable golfer Tiger Woods was even born, Palmer was a household name in the world of sports, becoming an almost instant sensation after he turned professional in 1954. He won his first tournament in 1956, and by 1958, he had won the Masters Tournament in just his fourth seasonas a pro. He would then rack up three more Masters wins, winning the tournament in 1960, 1962, and 1964, and while his career would slow down thereafter, he remained an iconic name in golf, and the first name people think about when the sport is mentioned.

With his four Masters titles, Palmer is tied for second with Woods for the most wins at the prestigious tournament, ranking only behind Jack Nicklaus' six titles. Hewon a total of 62 PGA Tour titles over his career, good for fifth on the all-time rankings.

Tributes flow in following news of Palmer’s passing

According to a report from ESPN, Palmer passed away Sunday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyteriandue to complications from heart problems. The report cited Palmer's agent Alastair Johnson, who said thatthe golfer was admitted to the hospital on Thursday to prepare for surgery, and had “weakened” in the days that followed.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Arnold Palmer, golf's greatest ambassador," read a statement from the United States Golf Association.

The statement added that Palmer will always remain a champion “in every sense,” and also acknowledged his influence as a professional golfer, as he inspired multiple generations to take up the sport with his competitiveness, his sportsmanship, and his compassion for his fellow golfers and fans alike.

Palmer’s fellow golfing legend Jack Nicklaus also issued a statement in the wake of his death, saying that he was “shocked” that he, and the sport of golf in general, had “lost a great friend” and one of the “incredible” people in sports. Likewise, Tiger Woods also said that he was saddened by Palmer’s death, given his importance to the game and to himself as a younger golfer who had looked up to him and sought his advice.

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