Wednesday 21 March 2018

Palmer put out by McIlroy and Donald's Orlando no-show

ARNOLD PALMER is disappointed that the world's top two, Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, decided not to play in the PGA Tour event bearing his name at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Florida.

"I'm certainly not happy that those fellas chose not to come this year," said Palmer.

"To have a couple of the top players internationally and US not here, I'm kind of sorry for that, but I think we can get that squared away and maybe we'll entice them to come in the future."

McIlroy, deposed as number one by Donald on Sunday, has written to the 82-year-old Palmer asking for a meeting.

"I'm not sure that I know exactly what he wants me to tell him or what he wants to hear from me, but I look forward to seeing him and talking to him," added Palmer.

"He also mentioned in the letter that he will be here to play in the years to come."

The Northern Irishman is in the middle of a three-week break before the Masters.

Donald won last week in his final appearance before the season's first major.

Meanwhile, on each of the four occasions Tiger Woods has won the Masters, he has gone to Augusta with at least one victory to his name during that season.

His last chance to do the same this year comes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational -- but just to get through the event unscathed would be something for the 14-time major champion.

Two weeks ago, Woods limped out of the Cadillac Championship in Miami.

The former world number one was back in competitive action on Monday as he suffered only a mild Achilles tendon strain in his left ankle.

By keeping his commitment to the Tavistock Cup inter-club match, however, Woods faces the prospect of playing all week.

He reported no problems with his Achilles after yesterday's pro-am, but did tweak his back on the sixth hole.

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