This morning the members at Bay Hill got a first hand look at the statue of Mr. Palmer that has been constructed near the first tee. The statue is a great tribute to Mr. Palmer for not only the members of Bay Hill but all of the spectators who will have their picture taken by it next week while enjoying his tournament.
We are very disappointed that only 10 of the top 25 players have entered the field next week. We get scheduling for the players when you have the trip to Mexico now in the mix and then the week later the WGC Match Play but this coming week proves one thing. No one on the PGA tour cares about money when it comes to purses. A couple years ago the PGA Tour increased the purses at Bay Hill and the Memorial to entice the players to continue to come to the events even if the hosts were not longer living. There is also an increased exemption with a win.
Now the eight time champ Mr. Woods will not be in attendance due to his back which is understandable. All of the local players in Orlando will be playing as its a home game for them and they can sleep in their own bed for the event. The rest of the top 25 who are not going to be there make it disappointing for us to comprehend why they are not going to pay tribute to Mr. Palmer.
Players like Rickey Fowler came up to visit Mr. Palmer when scheduling conflicts didn’t allow him to play and he wanted to tell Mr. Palmer face to face. Now the tournament is becoming an afterthought for players because of where it falls on the schedule. As players, choosing this career means you are afforded a lot of things. Paying tribute to the players that came before you should be at the top of your list to thank them for affording the lifestyles you are now living.
Dads Say So that of any year the players should be fighting to make it to Bay Hill. Mr. Palmer did amazing things for them as players, us as fans (founding The Golf Channel), and the Central Florida community (two hospitals have his name associated with it and they are the best in the area). If this is going to be a growing trend going forward we would like to call on the PGA Tour to look at moving the date to make sure that the top players still come to pay tribute to Mr. Palmer and his legacy. When we get to the 19th hole this week we are going to pay tribute to him and order our own Arnold Palmer. We want to say “Thank You” to Mr. Palmer for all that you have done and all that your legacy will continue to carry on in the community that we call home.