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March 3, 2017

Bronze Statue in Palmer’s Likeness to be Unveiled During 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard

Capturing his energy and essence, a 13-foot bronze statue of the late Arnold Palmer will be unveiled Saturday, March 11 and on display throughout the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

The statue is a replica of one that stands at Wake Forest University, Palmer’s alma mater. Weighing 1,392 pounds, the statue depicts Palmer as he finishes a powerful swing and was inspired by Palmer’s early career, including his 1964 Masters victory.  

Mastercard, the tournament’s long-time presenting sponsor, covered costs for the statue’s production, shipping and installation as a way to honor Palmer and his legacy. The company has supported the API for more than a decade, as well as the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies.  

“We’re truly honored to play a role in recognizing and celebrating Mr. Palmer and his enduring legacy,” said Craig Vosburg, President, North America. “While Mr. Palmer will not be with us this year, he will forever keep a watchful eye over the ‘deceptively simple and endlessly complicated game’ that is golf.”

The statue was originally created by renowned sculptor Bruce Wolfe in his Northern California studio. Wolfe spent time with Palmer at his golf club in Latrobe, Pa, and then gathered more than 100 photographs of Palmer from different angles.  He drafted renderings and small-scale models before the sculpting process began. The sculpture took eight months to complete, after which a rubber and plaster mold was made and transported to a foundry in New York. It was cast and finished in bronze, then shipped to the Arnold Palmer Golf Complex at Wake Forest University and unveiled in a ceremony attended by Palmer in October 2013.     

The new statue has been poured and will soon be shipped to Bay Hill from the same foundry.  On the morning of March 11, the statue will be unveiled during a breakfast event traditionally held for the 1,500 volunteers who staff Palmer’s tournament every year. The statue will then be on permanent display at the course, overlooking the first and 10th tees.

“There will be no ropes or fences around this statue,” said Marci Doyle, chief operating officer of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “It will be infinitely approachable, just like Mr. Palmer.”

The 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard takes place March 13-19.


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