Palmer Done Playing Major Championships


2005 U.S. Senior OpenKETTERING, Ohio -- Arnold Palmer, the king of seven Grand Slam events and five more as a senior, bid an emotional farewell Friday to his 50-year major championship career.
``It's not fun when you play as poorly as I played,'' the 75-year-old Palmer said after shooting an 81 to miss the cut by a wide margin at the U.S. Senior Open.
``My tournaments are getting down to a very few. As far as trying to compete in major championships such as the Open and other tournaments, this is it. I'm through doing it. I'm not going to do it anymore.''
While fans shouted out to him, Palmer's eyes glistened.
Palmer has not won a tournament since 1988 and has not been competitive in events for many years. His good friend and rival, Jack Nicklaus, ended his competitive career two weeks ago at the British Open at St. Andrew's.
Palmer's first major tournament as a pro was the 1955 Masters. He tied for 10th then, and would go on to win at Augusta National in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964. He also won the U.S. Open in 1960, and British Opens in 1961 and 1962.
Palmer was carried by a wave of emotion on his final hole. He had to punch out into the fairway, but then hit a knocked-down 6 iron that ended up 7 feet from the pin on the par-4 closing hole. He received a standing ovation that lasted two minutes from the thousands of people around the 18th green at NCR Country Club, up until he marked his ball.
Looking tired and drawn from playing in 80-degree temperatures, he missed the par putt but made the bogey putt.
The crowd roared again and he responded by waving, smiling and bowing.
Palmer said the fans had spurred him on throughout the past two days.
``My golf is so lousy I expected them all to go home at noon,'' he said with a laugh.
Palmer said he intends to play in some charity events this year and next.
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