March 24, 2011
It's Arnold Palmer's week here on the PGA Tour, and The King took a few minutes out of his day to talk about ... well, does it even matter? It's Arnold Freakin' Palmer, for heaven's sake. We'd hang to listen to him read off a list of tee times.
Thankfully, he did more than that. In a wide-ranging press conference, he discussed players young and old, athletes on tour, and the current bogeyman, slow play: "I put up with it for 50 years," he laughed. "I think it's something that's very hard to regulate, but I think [the tour is] doing a reasonable job in getting play speeded up."
On You-Know-Who: "I feel like Tiger has a golf game that he can come to the surface any time. I think that's certainly a possibility here. He likes the golf course. He likes what we've done. So I would just not count him out at all."
More ominously, Palmer talked of how the road ahead for Woods is only going to get tougher: "I can tell you that [winning] becomes more and more difficult as you get older," he said. "And when reminiscing and talking about tournaments that you win and then tournaments that you think you should have won, that you didn't, and why you didn't; well, of course, the putts you're talking about, the ones that you think should have gone in or the ball that hits on the edge of the fairway and bounces in the rough instead of bouncing out in the middle of the fairway. Those are the things that start happening, and you, as a player, begin to wonder."
Swing changes, of course, are a hot topic these days, and Palmer didn't shy away from the topic, though he noted that he had a bit of a different perspective. As Palmer put it, his father "put my grip on the club and my hands on the golf club when I was 6 years old and he said, 'Boy, don't you ever change it.' Well, I haven't changed it." Seemed to work out OK, yes?