Because of his intense love of the event, which in Palmer’s era pitted a squad from the United States against one from Britain and Ireland, the timing of his death was poignant. The 41st edition of the Ryder Cup will take place this week at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
From the American team member Phil Mickelson’s unshakable connection with the fans to the European team member Rory McIlroy’s muscular 5-foot-9 body and go-for-broke mind-set to the more than 24 hours of television coverage over the three-day event, Palmer’s influence will be a luminous rainbow against a darkened background. His presence will be felt from the opening drive to the final putt.
In the book “Behind the Ryder Cup: The Players’ Stories,” Palmer said he loved the event “because it simply wasn’t about playing for money. It was about playing for something far grander and more personal.”
Palmer’s Ryder Cup record in six appearances as a player was 22-8-2. To place his…