Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74 in Phoenix on Friday night, and entire golf world took a moment to recognize one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player issued statements about Ali, and Tour pros everywhere tweeted their condolences about the death of Ali.
Jack Nicklaus: “It is an understatement to say that today the hearts of the sports world are heavy with the loss of Muhammad Ali. He transcended not only the sport of boxing, but sports in general. He long ago established a legacy that crossed any boundaries of competition or the borders of just our country. He was a global icon.
I was incredibly honored and humbled to receive an award in December bearing his name. That night I told a story about how the walls in my home are not for plaques and trophies, but rather for photos of my kids and grandkids. Yet there is one special photo in my office, and that is of Muhammad and me playfully sparring at the PGA Championship in 1996 at Valhalla in his hometown of Louisville. I have always been a great fan of Muhammad, because I admired the champion he was in the ring and the champion he became out of the ring for so many causes.”
Gary Player: “Muhammad Ali was simply the best. He was both brilliant and controversial. He inspired and empowered athletes all over the world. He was the GOAT of boxing. We should all celebrate his legacy. Rest in peace.”