“I am very humbled,” Arnold said.
Jack Nicklaus, Palmer’s longtime rival and friend, attended the ceremony.
From Ron Driscoll of the USGA:
If there is one thing both Democrats and Republicans can agree on, it is recognition of Palmer. The bill to award the medal to Palmer passed 422–1 in the House and unanimously in the Senate.
In addition, chief executives from both parties have honored Palmer: The three-time USGA champion received the National Sports Award from President Bill Clinton in 1993, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2004.
In a display of bipartisan support, the Congressional leadership of both parties was on hand for Wednesday’s presentation: Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both Republicans; and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, both Democrats.
“I’m particularly proud of anything the House and the Senate agree on,” Palmer joked.