ORLANDO, Fla. – “I can tell you exactly where I was,” said William McGirt as he marched from the practice tee at Bay Hill to the putting green.
Like virtually anyone who ever crossed paths with Arnold Palmer, McGirt remembers exactly when, and where, his first encounter with The King occurred.
It was McGirt’s rookie year (2011) and he was hitting 4-footers on the putting green when, “I felt a hand grab my shoulder,” he said.
It was Palmer, but this went much deeper than a random meeting.
“He said, ‘I just want to say thank you,’” McGirt recalled. “When I asked for what he said, ‘Your autograph on that kid’s flag is the only one I can read.’
“I told him, ‘I remember someone saying once that if someone asks you for your autograph the least you can do is make it so they can read it.'”
Palmer flashed McGirt his signature thumbs up and walked away. “That was it. It was so cool,” McGirt smiled.