The legendary Arnold Palmer passed away this past Sunday at the age of 87. In this week’s journey in Suncoast area sports history time machine, we travel to 1970 and an exhibition between “The King” and Gary Player at the Longboat Key Country Club.
As noted by Sarasota Journal Sports Editor Jack Gurney in the March 10 edition of the newspaper, Palmer made the trip to the Suncoast one day after “an exhausting 36-hole windup at the Citrus Invitational in Orlando,” which turned into a “humbling experience” after he lost the tournament on a short putt.
Then the 40-year-old Palmer, whom Gurney called “King of the Fairways,” still honored his commitment to play in the Arnold Palmer-Gary Player match, which was organized by nine Kiwanis clubs in Sarasota and Manatee counties., despite “the strain of the previous day’s tournament written all of him.”
To read Gurney’s story on Palmer’s visit to the Longboat Key Country Club for the Arnold Palmer-Gary Player match, please click here.