At age 75, Arnold Palmer says he feels like a kid again after marrying fiancee Kathleen “Kit” Gawthrop Jan. 26 in an intimate beachside ceremony on Oahu’s North Shore.
“I feel like a 25-year-old,” he said the following day.
The couple exchanged nuptials Wednesday evening in a beach cottage near the Arnold Palmer Course at the Turtle Bay Resort, where the four-time Masters champion played at last week’s Champions Tour event.
“She’s a great lady,” Palmer said. “I’ve known her for a long time. We’ve been engaged for some time and dated before that. She’s just very special.”
The wedding ceremony, held as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, was private and small.
“The minister, the bride and the groom. That was it,” Palmer said.
And it wasn’t entirely on a whim.
“The timing may be a little spontaneous, but we’ve been looking for a way to get married quietly and this presented that opportunity,” Palmer said.
The 62-time PGA Tour winner married once before. His wife of 45 years, Winnie, died in 1999.
Gawthrop, of Tiburon, Calif., has three children from a previous marriage and five grandchildren.
Palmer, who has two daughters and seven grandchildren, said the honeymoon already has started.
“It started about a year and a half ago and hopefully it will
last for another 10 or 15 years,” he said.
“It’s been a great two weeks with the exception of golf,” said Palmer, following his final-round 80 to finish at 23-over 239.
4On Jan. 31, Palmer announced he would not play in this year’s Bay Hill Invitational, the event he founded 26 years ago.
“Oh, I’ll keep an eye on everybody, that’s for sure,” said Palmer. “I’ll miss playing; there’s no doubt in my mind about that. But we all move on. I’m moving into another phase with Bay Hill. I’ll fulfill my duties as host of the tournament, whatever is needed, and enjoy watching the golf.”
Palmer still plans to play in a few select tournaments this year and future years.
“I’ll pick and choose,” said Palmer, who plans to play the Senior PGA Championship in May at Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier, Pa., near his hometown of Latrobe. “You’ll never hear me say I won’t play anymore. But I’ll be very selective.”
– Staff and wire reports