Palmer married in intimate ceremony

Updated: January 27, 2005, 6:17 PM ET
Associated Press

KAHUKU, Hawaii -- At 75, Arnold Palmer feels like a kid again after saying, "I do."

Palmer married fiancee Kathleen Gawthrop in an intimate beachside ceremony on Oahu's North Shore.

"I feel like a 25-year-old," he said Thursday.

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 will play at this weekend's Champions Tour event.

"She's a great lady. I've known her for a long time. We've been engaged for some time and dated before that," Palmer said. "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 was all smiles as he prepared for the tournament, but most of the players weren't aware of the newlywed on tour.

"I'm happy for him," said Hale Irwin, who attended University of Colorado about the same time as Gawthrop. "They're happy together and I think this is wonderful.

"I was hoping it would happen. In fact, I told him last fall, 'It's time.' So he finally took my advice."

Palmer was married once before. His wife of 45 years, Winnie, died in 1999.

Gawthrop, of Tiburon, Calif., has three children from a prior marriage and five grandchildren.

Palmer, who has two daughters and seven grandchildren, said the honeymoon has already started.

"It started about a year and a half ago and hopefully it will last for another 10 or 15 years," he said.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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