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November 23, 2003

Arnold Palmer


ARNOLD PALMER: It's ironic the Presidents Cup and the UBS matches came out in a tie. 24 players on different sides and it all comes out to one square. It's amazing.

GORDON SIMPSON: Today's match here, it just ebbed and flowed all day, didn't it.

ARNOLD PALMER: For the gallery, it had to be very exciting, something that -- you know, if you're watching it -- I was watching and I got pretty damn excited.

Q. What would you say to the results from today? Do they indicate the strength and depth of American golf or do they indicate the rise of golf outside America?

ARNOLD PALMER: Well, I think both, actually. Of course the strength of American golf is pretty obvious. With what happened in South Africa and what happened here, it's amazing. But I think more notable than anything in that context is the fact that the world of golf outside the United States is becoming far, far more prominent than it has been in many, many, many years.

As I mentioned at the presentation, my thoughts about the game of golf and when people ask me about my appearance there in 1960, my remarks were very easy because they were the exact things that I was thinking about, and that is, that international golf would be on the rise. Well, you think about 1960 versus 2003, and look at what has happened to world golf. For so many years, the United States really dominated the scene, and that isn't the case anymore. It's not the case in America, it's not the case in these matches, and it's not the case around the world, because even though we have some very outstanding golfers, we are not dominating the game of golf as we once did.

Q. Arnold, the last four players there, the way they performed Raymond wins the 18th hole to get that half. Brad wins on a long birdie putt. Hal does what he normally does, and then Scott. Did you expect that out of that last group?

ARNOLD PALMER: Actually, the way it turned out was a little bit ironic because it looked like Tony was maybe stacking the last four players, putting his strong guys down there at the bottom, and I had not that intention at all. I kind of matched the people that I thought would be good matches from the top. Mine kind of fell the way it did as much accidentally as on purpose, because I felt that any one of my guys, and rightly so, could handle the situation, whether they be at the top or the bottom. So I didn't worry about that.

Q. Arnold, with Faldo and Strange and Langer and Irwin, maybe some more up there, but did you have some old Ryder Cup rivalries in mind when you put those together or were you just dropping them in a hat? Be honest.

ARNOLD PALMER: I can be honest, you know that. I don't have a problem with that. When I saw the opportunity to put Hale where I did, I welcomed it because I thought it was kind of ironic that it fell into that situation. And most of them, whether it put Colin and Watson or whatever, that wasn't something that I preplanned, it was something that I happily had happen to me, that I could do that. That's pretty much it, Furman. I think that's as honest as I can be about it.

Q. Arnold, the second year in a row that this tournament has been here at Sea Island, and there has been a lot of praise of the job Sea Island has done hosting this. What are your thoughts about this coming back here again?

ARNOLD PALMER: I suppose I personally had some doubt as to whether it would come back here. As we stand at the moment, I am just totally thrilled with the thoughts that it might very well come back here again next year. I thought that would be wonderful. I don't think that they'll have any problem getting the players that were here this year. I think they would welcome the chance to come back. Of course Bill Jones and company here seem very thrilled with what has happened, the large crowds, the way that the matches went, the Golf Channel picking it up and carrying on as they have. All the things -- you know, it's sort of a match made in heaven. I don't know that we'll ever be lucky enough to have it happen quite as nice as it did this week.

As you know, last year it was great, but the weather got stinky and we had a lot of problems. But now it looks like there is a good chance that we might have another shot next year and I welcome that very much. The venue couldn't be better.

End of FastScripts.

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