Monday means reminiscing about the weekend golf action, and this Monday comes on the heels of an unforgettable Sunday. The final round of the Tour Championship, the finale of the FedEx Cup playoffs came to a thrilling ending where Rory McIlroy held off Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a playoff to take both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup (and its $10 million prize).
It was not a good day for presumptive Player of the Year Dustin Johnson, who was a co-leader going into round 4, but had the worst round in the field, and did not get the help he needed from others to hold onto the #1 spot in the FedEx Cup Standings. While Ryan Moore didn’t win, something great came out of the Tour Championship for him: Davis Love III chose him with his final Ryder Cup Captain’s pick.
The other reason yesterday was unforgettable a sad one: PGA Tour legend Arnold Palmer passed away. A universally loved figure in golf, there has been a lot of emotion expressed in the aftermath of his passing. Today, the golf world remembers and celebrates Arnie.
Remembering The King
As exciting as yesterday’s FedEx Cup finale was, the story ended up taking a back seat to the awful news that legendary golfer Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87.
The reactions and tributes from Palmer’s contemporaries have been especially tear-inducing.
This one is from Gary Player, who dueled with Palmer many times on the course.
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) September 26, 2016
The Champions Tour put out an amazing video about Arnie’s greatness.
The world lost a legend and a great man on Sunday. Rest in peace, Mr. Palmer. https://t.co/FiivQ3sfX7
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) September 26, 2016
From Phil Mickelson, who is possibly the Arnie of his generation.
— KPMG Mickelson (@MickelsonHat) September 26, 2016
From new FedEx Cup Champion Rory McIlroy.
Remembering the special times I spent with Mr Palmer at Bay Hill. A true pioneer for our sport. Forever remembered. pic.twitter.com/qJQBpDWTWv
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) September 26, 2016
Many players, such as this one from Ben Crane, shared classic pictures of Palmer in his prime. He seems to perfectly exemplify “Old School Cool”.
— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) September 26, 2016
And this one from the PGA Tour.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 26, 2016
Another (sort of) contemporary, Tom Watson.
Not only will Arnie always be remembered as the King, he's the best friend that golf has ever had. We will sorely miss his passion & charm.
— Tom Watson (@TomWatsonPGA) September 26, 2016
Most everyone in golf sent out a tweet. Here are a few more.
The day we hoped would never come. Arnold Palmer, you will be missed. Suiting that your final "charge" was on a Sunday.
— Jason Gore (@JasonGore59) September 26, 2016
Thankful for the time my family and I got to spend with "The King". Golf and sport lost an icon today. RIP Mr. Palmer pic.twitter.com/OK7VOZ0l8n
— William McGirt (@WilliamMcGirt) September 26, 2016
Forever indebted to the King. I was fortunate enough to have KVenturi as my mentor and Mr Palmer as a friend. Ive been truly lucky! #RIPKING
— John Cook (@johncookgolf) September 26, 2016
If Mr. Palmer's life was a round of golf, he's the only guy to ever shoot 57. #TheKing
— Graham DeLaet (@GrahamDeLaet) September 26, 2016
Suzann Petterson, who happened to be at Bay Hill (considered Arnie’s course) took a picture of Arnie’s spot on the practice range.
President Barack Obama even got in on the tributes.
Here's to The King who was as extraordinary on the links as he was generous to others. Thanks for the memories, Arnold. pic.twitter.com/UlyfpIBOL2
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 26, 2016
The most touching thoughts may have come from Jack Nicklaus, Arnie’s greatest rival.
I just got the news at about 8:45 that Arnold had passed. I was shocked to hear that we lost a great friend (continued) pic.twitter.com/skehUsQgww
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) September 26, 2016
Reactions to Ryder Cup Ryan
Ryan Moore being named to the American Ryder Cup team as Davis Love III’s last captain’s pick ended weeks of speculation. Moore, mostly due to his recent hot play, was believed to be in the mix with Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas, Jim Furyk, and maybe even Tiger Woods. The reactions to the move were overwhelmingly positive.
— Ryan Moore (@ryanmoorepga) September 26, 2016
Bubba Watson, who likely would have been the pick had Moore not gotten hot lately, posted a classy response. There may not have been anyone who wanted to be at the Ryder Cup more than Bubba. He will be back.
— bubba watson (@bubbawatson) September 26, 2016
Justin Thomas, another talented young player who was believed to be under consideration for that last captain’s pick, responded similarly to Bubba:
Congrats to Ryan on the last pick for @RyderCupUSA, much deserved. Hurts not being there, but pulling like crazy for team USA next week! ??
— Justin Thomas (@JustinThomas34) September 26, 2016
American Ryder Cup vet Hunter Mahan believes it was the right pick:
Ryan Moore has an incredible amateur match play record. Great ball striker and very tough!
— Hunter Mahan (@HunterMahan) September 26, 2016
As one of the bigger personalities on Tour, Bubba Watson has a lot of fans and haters. Getting passed up for the Ryder Cup brought out a lot of trolls.
@bubbawatson Being ranked 7th in the world and still not getting picked speaks volumes about your personality.
— Steve K (@stevenk33) September 26, 2016
— beyond deplorable (@IamTheChu) September 26, 2016
Bubba has taken the high road so far, but nobody would fault him if he went Robert Allenby on those trolls.
Commercial of the Day
ESPN’s Sportscenter has been a paragon of genius advertising. One of their recent commercials featured Arnold Palmer at SportsCenter headquarters in Bristol, CT. It was some of their finest work:
We'll be having an Arnold Palmer for The King tonight. pic.twitter.com/1VhpxS3PA3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 26, 2016
Stat(s) of the Day
In the eight year stretch from 1957 to 1964, Arnold Palmer was had the following statistics:
– 41 wins
– 7 Major Championship Victories
– PGA Tour money leader four times
– PGA Leader in victories five times
– Nine playoff victories
Palmer was unquestionably dominant in the late 50s and early 60s, one of the most dominant stretches of golf the game has ever seen. He finished his career with 62 wins, the fifth most in PGA history.
Video of the Day
Rory McIlroy is Europe’s highest ranked player, and is likely their biggest asset in their quest to retain the cup in America. The European Ryder Cup team watched the end of the Tour Championship, where McIlroy went 5-under on the back nine to get into a playoff that he would win. His teammates appear to be happy for him:
— Ryder Cup Team EUR (@RyderCupEurope) September 25, 2016
Speaking of the European Ryder Cup team, their twitter account posted a picture illustrating
Charity of the Day
A group of Web.com tour wives assembled a cart for the children at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH.
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) September 26, 2016
As for the tournament itself, the final round of the third leg of the Web.com finals, American Grayson Murray shot a three-under on the back nine to defeat young Australian golf prodigy Cameron Smith. With the win, Murray secured his PGA Tour Card for next season. Joining Murray on the Tour next year will be Kevin Tway (T3), Martin Flores (T4), and Ryan Blaum (T13), who all their their cards via the top 25 on the Web.com finals money list.
The last tournament of the Web.com finals will be the Web.com Tour Championship in two weeks in Atlantic Beach, FL.