Arnold Palmer remains diplomatic over Tiger’s Bay Hill snub
I’ve always been a fan of Arnold Palmer. Thee smile. The swashbuckling game. There’s a reason he’s loved by millions around the world, why he’s got his own ‘army’ at his disposal when he does to tee it up. But if there was one thing that raised my respect and love for Palmer, it was a “rumored” story from Waggle Room that told of Palmer’s ability to put childish super-athletes in their place.
So when I heard Palmer had come out and commented on Tiger’s return and his Bay Hill snub, I just knew he’d nip the issue in the bud and move on.
“We are all disappointed that Tiger isn’t going to play our tournament at Bay Hill, but, all things considered, we certainly understand,” Palmer said.
“I talked to Tiger on the phone this morning and he expressed his regrets that he won’t be playing here. He said that he really didn’t feel his game was sharp enough to begin competition this early.”
“As for Tiger’s decision to play at the Masters without playing a tournament beforehand, that’s something only the player himself knows how to handle. Certainly he knows what he wants to do with his life and the way he is going to deal with it. We’re going to give him that respect.”
I’d pay good money to hear Tiger tell Arnie he wasn’t playing in his event — especially given the fact that he and Palmer are friends, and Tiger has won the event a couple of time (I’m kidding; he owns Bay Hill with five wins in the last 10). Plus, there’s the line of thinking that it made sense for Woods to play in Orlando as a tune up for The Masters. But I guess that’s neither here nor there at this point.
Palmer definitely wishes Tiger would play at his event, but at this point it’s best to take the high road and wish him well in his first start of the year. Arnie did that, and that’s why he’s one of the classiest golfers on the planet.