Report: Palmer could have reduced role at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Devil Ball Golf

We'll see less of Arnold Palmer at his Orlando PGA Tour event next week.

The 86-year-old golf legend and tournament host at Bay Hill Club and Lodge will be on site, but he will not hold his normal pre-tournament news conference on Wednesday, according to ESPN. He'll instead have a private interview session with members of the media, but cameras will not be present.

"I know he's still going to be around; he's still going to be out there," said Sam Saunders, Palmer's grandson and a PGA Tour player himself. "I know all the guys want to see him and he'll want to see all the guys, so hopefully he'll be feeling good and will be able to come out and play a pretty big role. But whether he's able to be there in person for some of these moments or not, it doesn't matter. He's still the focus."

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Speaking to ESPN, Saunders said Palmer lacks a similar level of "liveliness" the King typically displays, chalking it up simply to aging. However, Saunders is hoping the flood of PGA Tour players to his resort will pick up his spirits.

"All the guys coming to the tournament and seeing the familiar faces will definitely get his spirits up," he said. "He'll be excited to see everyone."

As for Palmer's status as one of the Big Three -- the real Big Three -- to hit a ceremonial tee shot to kick off the Masters next month, Saunders doesn't know if Palmer will be able to participate. Palmer, a four-time Masters winner, has been one of the men to hit the tournament-commencing shots since 2007.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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