All the world's a stage, and it's time for Arnold Palmer to exit
Here I am in a Southeast Asian country men call paradise, and what am I doing on a warm and sunny Thursday afternoon in late February? I’m watching a three-week-old re-run of the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game on Thai satellite TV. How pathetic is that?
And yet, I can’t tear myself away. Watching the immortals of the game turn mortal holds a fascination for me. As long as they’re able to perform without peeing on themselves, I’m attentive and sitting upright
This was a tag-team match of the following pairs: Nicklaus-Watson, Player-Irwin, Floyd-Quigley and Jacobsen-Palmer.
Of the eight, only Peter Jacobsen and Dana Quigley aren’t in the Hall of Fame. The players range in age from 51 to 76 and all but one has game.
Jack Nicklaus, at 66, has had a good day at the Wailea Golf Club in Hawaii. He and his partner, Tom Watson, dominate the front nine, winning eight skins and $260,000. Nobody wins holes 10 through 16, but then Raymond Floyd, 63, waiting in the weeds like a shrewd old coon hunting dog, sinks an eight-foot birdie putt on the 17th to grab nine skins and $410,000. He and Quigley take the final hole, too, for a hundred more Big Ones.
Maybe the biggest surprise, for me, is the tremendous ball striking of 70-year-old Gary Player. One look at him and you can see the competitive fires still raging. And then there is Arnold Palmer, cast as King Lear.
We don’t need to recount what Palmer has meant to the game of golf. But watching him swing a golf club carries the whiff of tragedy now. Soon it will be as sad as seeing Joe DiMaggio at 80, attempting in vain to toss a baseball 20 feet at a Yankee Stadium old timers’ game. Or hearing Frank Sinatra forget the lyrics to “One For My Baby.”
When you hear his fellow players patronize him, and tell him “good shot, Arnie” after a 210-yard drive into the left rough, you know it’s long past time for Palmer to stop playing golf on television.
The immortal Shakespeare said it best: “Sans backswing, sans distance, sans putter, sans everything.”
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I'm surprised there isn't a black van with tinted windows in front of your house right now. Play on, Mr. Palmer...
Gary Player is in great shape and can still play. He always was a better player than Arnie, I believe.
In fact, as far as talent goes, Peter Thomson was as good as Arnie. But I don't suppose anybody has heard of this modest old man.
"Only one has game"? Can you beat any of these men? If not your words carry no credibility. They are playing for fun and as long as it isn't your money what do you care!
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