Notes Palmer May Be Done with Seniors


2005 U.S. Senior OpenKETTERING, Ohio -- Arnold Palmer's competitive golfing days are rapidly sifting away.
After fading to a bleak 14-over 85 on Thursday in the opening round of the U.S. Senior Open, Palmer said he planned on playing in only three more Champions Tour events.
``I just played awful,'' the 75-year-old said
He played his first nine holes in 6-over 41 and parred the next two holes, but then played the final seven in 8 over.
``I will play next week, for a lot of reasons, in Minneapolis, and I'll play Houston because of my association there, and probably the First Tee at Pebble Beach. And that's it. That's all I'll play,'' he said.
Asked if he had put any thought into playing on tour in 2006, he said, ``I have no intentions of playing at all -- maybe a few charity events -- and that will be it.''
Pressed about not playing in any Champions Tour events, Palmer backed off.
``Well, I won't say no, but it's not likely that I'm going to play very much,'' he said.
Palmer, who turned pro 50 years ago, won 62 PGA Tour events. He energized the game, providing panache, emotion and color to a staid gentleman's game. Palmer's rivalry with Jack Nicklaus in the 1960s brought golf into the mainstream of American sports.
Now he finds it nearly impossible to avoid the frustrations that dog most high-handicappers at muni courses.
``Sure, I got frustrated,'' Palmer said. ``I was probably foolish in thinking that I might play reasonably well this week.''
Dave Renwick, who quit as Vijay Singh's caddie earlier this year, is carrying Greg Norman's clubs at the U.S. Senior Open.
Renwick hadn't caddied since giving up what was perceived as one of the best jobs on the PGA Tour considering Singh is a perennial top money-winner. When he quit, Renwick said he was unhappy with how he was treated by Singh.
Norman, who opened with a 3-under 68, gave a lot of the credit for his quick start to Renwick.
``He's a consummate professional,'' Norman said. ``He says all the right things because he's done it before for other great players. He's going to caddie for me the rest of this year and we'll see what happens next year.''
Curtis Strange had a hole-in-one on the 202-yard, par-3 13th at NCR Country Club. Strange used a 3-iron for the ace, which came one hole after a double-bogey. He shot an even-par 71.
``It was simply left to right,'' he said. ``I didn't see it go in.''
It was the 12th ace of Strange's career -- and first since the 1988 Masters.
Dana Quigley's string of 278 consecutive starts on the Champions Tour came to an end last week when he decided to not make the trip to the Senior British Open because of a balky hip. He's starting a new streak this week at the U.S. Senior Open and opened with a 73.
Quigley joined the tour in 1997. He has won 10 times and been a runner-up in 15 other tournaments. A two-time winner this year (MasterCard Championship, Bayer Advantage Classic), he is fifth in career seniors tour earnings.
When he was younger, the 58-year-old Quigley led a wild life. But now he has seen the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
``The first 50 years of my life, I did everything for the present,'' he said.
Tom Watson won the Senior British Open last weekend at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland, then hopped a flight and arrived in Ohio on Sunday night.
Before teeing it up in the first round of the U.S. Senior Open, he was still feeling the effects. But he said he still had time to bounce back.
``At my age, I do take more and more naps,'' said Watson, who opened with a 68.
Quigley told a USGA official that the guys in blazers must really be upset with Wednesday's rain. Asked why, Quigley responded, ``Well, you can't get that brown color on the greens. They're going to be beautiful and green this week.''
Dave Stockton withdrew from the field because of family commitments, and was replaced by Chuck Milne of Vancouver, Wash. ... The three par-5s (Nos. 5, 6 and 10) were the only holes the field played below par. ... Palmer's 85 was matched by three others. ... Peter Jacobsen is trying to become the first repeat winner of the U.S. Senior Open since Gary Player in 1988.
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