Palmer Leaves His Mark at The Masters
They were paired together for the first time 20 years ago at The Players Championship, a 22-year-old in his first full season on the PGA Tour playing with the man responsible for what golf had become.
'He said one thing to me I'll never forget,' Faxon said. 'He said, 'The key out here is to look everybody in the eye, to make eye contract.' He was talking about the fans.'
A guy who spends a half-century of golf putting people first is bound to make a few friends.
Arnie had a whole army of them.
The troops will gather at Augusta National again this year to bid farewell to Palmer, who is playing his 50th consecutive -- and final -- Masters.
'It's going to be exciting for me,' Palmer said. 'And it's going to be somewhat sentimental. It's kind of an opportunity to say goodbye to all of the fans who have been so supportive over the last 50 years, and have been the reason that I have played as long as I have.'
Gene Sarazen hit the shot that put the Masters on the map. Jack Nicklaus has more Green Jackets. Tiger Woods is behind the exponential growth in prize money.
Palmer was simply the king.
'I remember waking up when I was 5 or 6 years old, and waiting for the paperboy at 5 in the morning to drop off the paper so I could see how Arnie did at the Masters,' Jeff Sluman said. 'I would coming running into the kitchen and yell, 'Arnie shot 68!''
This is the 40th anniversary of Palmer's fourth Masters, the last of his seven professional majors.
Palmer hasn't made the cut since 1983. That was also the last time he broke par at Augusta National.
None of it matters.
No one cares about the score, only that he plays.
'Every time Arnie plays a round, it's like a celebration,' Faxon said. 'I'm sure it's getting old for Arnie because he's not competitive like he used to be. But nobody enjoys doing it like him. I think it's awesome.'
For Palmer, it has always been about the fans.
He was asked recently for his fondest memories of the Masters. It wasn't his first trip down Magnolia Lane, the jokes told during the Champions Dinner or any of his four victories.
'The fans. The people,' Palmer said with that twinkle in his eye. 'Hell, I know them all by name. They'd call me at home most of the year, see if I was going to play.'
Palmer played his first Masters in 1955 as the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, the kid from Latrobe, Pa., with strength rippling through his sweater and pants he always hitched before big shots.
His first Masters victory remains one of the most pivotal moments in golf.
Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House, television was just starting to discover golf, and a group of soldiers from nearby Fort Gordon were manning the scoreboards as Palmer swung from the heels and charged into the lead in the 1958 Masters.
'They held up signs about Arnie's Army,' Palmer recalled. 'I didn't know where they were from and where they got the idea. It was just the fact that they were in the Army. They thought that was pretty clever.'
Arnie's Army was born, and golf's first popularity boom was under way.
With each Green Jacket, the legend grew.
He won the 1960 Masters with a 30-foot birdie on the 17th and a 6-foot birdie on the 18th to beat Ken Venturi by one shot. It took 38 years before another player birdied the final two holes to win the Masters.
Equally dramatic was Palmer's victory in 1962, when he chipped in for birdie on the 16th, holed a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and then parred the final hole to get into an 18-hole playoff. Palmer won the next day over Gary Player and his good friend, Dow Finsterwald.
'I remember that chip-in on 16 from television,' Tom Watson said. 'He was my hero. And Jack (Nicklaus) was the villain, darn right. To see him play his last Masters is going to be very special, very passionate to a lot of people.'
Nicklaus won his first Masters the following year, but Palmer responded with his most dominant victory at Augusta National, winning by six shots in 1964 over Nicklaus and Dave Marr.
'I remember Arnold Palmer in the '60s, when I first started playing golf,' Nick Price said. 'The Masters was the best tournament, and Arnold was the king. One of these days, he's not going to play. And it's going to leave a huge hole. We have him to thank -- and the people of Augusta have him to thank -- for where the tournament and modern golf is today.'
This actually will be the second farewell for Palmer.
There was an uproar two years ago when Augusta National sent letters to a couple of aging champions who had a tendency to withdraw after the first round, if not sooner. The message was for them to stop playing.
Palmer announced that the 2002 Masters would be his last, saying, 'I don't want to get a letter.'
Club chairman Hootie Johnson decided that past champions could play until they were 65, but Palmer and Nicklaus persuaded him to go back to the old policy. It was one of the few times that Johnson changed his mind.
Now, Palmer gets to leave on his own terms.
'With the way he played at tournaments like the Masters, he brought people to the game with his charisma,' Scott Verplank said. 'As great a player as he was, that might be his greatest contribution.'
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0||(2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1||(4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 1-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0||(43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-1-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
||(60) L. List: 0-1-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0||(7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-0-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0||(42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0||(56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 1-0-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0||(12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-1-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0||(23) B. Grace: 0-1-0||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0||(35) B. Watson: 1-0-0||(36) B. Steele: 1-0-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 0-1-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-0-0||(55) A. Levy: 0-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-0-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 1-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1||(27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0||(37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-1-0||(59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1|
Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut
There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.
Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.
The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:
But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.
"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."
Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.
"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."
Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.
Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET
Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”
The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:
- Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
- Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
- Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.
Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.
A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.
Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2
Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:
Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)
Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)
Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)
Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)
Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)
Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)
Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)
Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)
Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)
Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)
Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)
Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)
Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)
Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)
Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)
Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)
Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.
Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)
Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)
Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)
Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)
Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)
Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)
Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)
Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.
Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61)
Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)
Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)
Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)
Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)
Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)
Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)