His first major championship win at the 1958 Masters Tournament cemented his position as one of the leading stars in golf, and by 1960 he had signed up as pioneering sports agent Mark Mc Cormack's first client.
In later interviews, Mc Cormack listed five attributes that made Palmer especially marketable: his good looks; his relatively modest background (his father was a greenskeeper before rising to be club professional and Latrobe was a humble club); the way he played golf, taking risks and wearing his emotions on his sleeve; his involvement in a string of exciting finishes in early televised tournaments; and his affability. Before Ben Hogan won that championship in 1953, few American professionals had traveled to play in The Open, due to its travel requirements, relatively small prize purses, and the style of its links courses (radically different from most American courses).
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Palmer won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average four times: 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1967.
He played on six Ryder Cup teams: 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1971, and 1973.
Palmer's most prolific years were 1960–1963, when he won 29 PGA Tour events, including five major tournament victories, in four seasons.