Arnold Palmer is on the countdown. Hes 75 and been playing professionally for more than 50 years. He plays what could be one of his last Champions Tour events ever this week at the 3M Championship near Minneapolis.
Palmer says this tournament and the Administaff Small Business Classic near Houston in October will wrap it up for him, along with possibly the First Tee at Pebble Beach. That is, if he doesnt somehow find the fountain of youth ' something which he has seemingly found several times in his career. He will continue to play publicly in exhibitions, he said.
I have no intentions of playing at all, maybe a few charity events, and that will be it, said the man who has been dubbed The King by golf fans the world over.
As Palmer plays on what is possibly his final year on the Champions Tour, he will leave the sport of golf in much better shape than he found it. That, he says, makes him happy.
Well, it's fine if they say it, if it's true, and certainly I hope that the game is headed in the direction that I think it is, said Palmer. And of course I'm very happy for that.
Palmer got a rousing send-off last week at the U.S. Senior Open in Dayton, Ohio. And he responded with a lot of emotion as the fans cheered him around the course in one of his last tourneys ever.
Am I emotional? Certainly, he said. You can't not be after being on the Champions Tour or the Senior Tour for 25 years.
I feel very fortunate to have lived long enough to be able to do that. That in itself has a lot of sentiment to it. The fact that these people come out - I won one of the early Open championships for the Champions Tour or the Senior Tour, and to see the crowds and see the enthusiasm that was shown here this week does me a lot of good, and it is very emotional.