MARCH 14, 2017

Second in a two-part series

By Steve Elling

Paul Casey considered the query for roughly the time it takes to tap in a 6-inch putt. To Casey, it was a gimme.

This week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, being staged for the first time since its famous namesake died last fall, will feature a solid field filled with some – but certainly not all – of the best players on the PGA Tour. Casey, ranked No. 15 in the world, all but laughed when asked whether he intended to pay homage to the man dubbed golf’s “King.”

One in a series during Arnold Palmer Invitational week

By Adam Schupak

My dad nearly killed Arnold Palmer. True story. We were at the Mercedes Championship at La Costa Resort in 1997 and late for the PGA Tour Awards dinner. That explains why my dad was running full tilt when he pancaked The King as they came around a corner of the hotel. My dad picked him up, dusted off and then his jaw dropped when he realized whom he had plowed over. Palmer still was seeing stars, as if he were in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. 

There was a funereal pall cast over the banquet room at the awards dinner when we arrived. It turned out that Palmer disclosed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I've always thought we were lucky to be treated to nearly two more decades of golf's most magnetic figure.

Standing his ground on fairness in the fairway

As new rules are being considered, I think it would be wise to allow players – amateur and professional – not to have to play their shot if their ball comes to rest in a divot in the fairway (“Revised rules ought to give ground on fairway divots,” March 3, bit.ly/2m3zA2w). Why punish a player for a good shot? Especially, when the committee is planning on making a change for hitting a ball into a bunker.

Joe Trueblood
Kansas City, Mo.

In the news

Restricted: To competitors in the Masters Tournament, the annual Par 3 Contest, according to letters sent by Augusta National Golf Club to invitees, The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson reported. Augusta officials cite increased interest in the Par 3 Contest on theWednesday of tournament week as the reason for no longer inviting all past champions of the U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship and the U.S. Amateur to play the nine-hole event. Those “honorary invitees” also will no longer be allowed to play practice rounds or use the practice facility during Masters week.

March 16-19
PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.
LPGA: Bank of Hope Founders Cup
Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix
March 17-19
Champions Tour: Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Ariz.
March 18-19
Portland Golf Expo
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine
March 22-26
PGA/European tours: WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Austin (Texas) Country Club
March 23-26
PGA Tour: Puerto Rico Open
Coco Beach Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
LPGA: Kia Classic
Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.
Web.com Tour: Chitimacha Louisiana Open
Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club, Broussard, La.

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