Arnold Palmer has said it was time for him to stop playing competitive golf.
updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
Spring, Texas:Arnold Palmer quit keeping score after four holes in a US PGA Champions Tour event on Friday, then tearfully said it was time for him to stop playing competitive golf. "I've been doing this for a long time and, first of all, to stand out there and not be able to make something happen is very traumatic in my mind," Palmer said. "The people, they all want to see a good shot, and you know it and you can't give them that good shot. That's when it's time." The 77-year-old Palmer was making only his second appearance on the 50-and-older circuit this year. He hit two balls into the water on the fourth hole, then said he was withdrawing because of a sore lower back. Even so, he finished the round with Lee Trevino and John Mahaffey, entertaining the gallery following him at the Administaff Small Business Classic. Palmer, who won four Masters among his seven major championships and was responsible for golf's first big boost in popularity, said he would play in some charity events, "but now there are no more thoughts of tournament golf". Palmer played his final US PGA Tour event at the 2004 Masters, a record 50th consecutive start at Augusta National. His first victory at the Masters in 1958 is where "Arnie's Army" was created, a time when television began to take an interest in golf and had the charismatic Palmer to bring the masses to the game. Known universally in golf as "The King", Palmer joined the PGA Tour in 1955 and won the Canadian Open that year for his first professional victory. He won the last of his 62 PGA Tour titles in the 1973 Bob Hope Classic, and he last won a Champions Tour event in 1988 at the Crestar Classic. He's fourth on the PGA Tour victory list with 62, won 10 times on the 50-and-over tour - including five majors - and won the 1954 US Amateur. (AP)