Arnold Palmer

Jimmy Roberts – “Arnold, it’s good to be back at Bay Hill, and I think a lot of people are interested to hear how you are doing?”

Arnold Palmer – “I’m doing good. I’m starting to feel better and ready to go.”

Roberts – “The course looks great once again. The field looks great, five of the top eight in the world. One of the more revealing things – even the guys who can’t play have reached out to you – some of them personally. What does that it say about this young generation in golf?”

Palmer – “They are a little different. They are more aggressive, and they are good players. I’m very pleased to see them, know them, and talk to them. I’m impressed.”

Roberts – “And they are mannerly too, and I know that manners always have been important to you.”

Palmer – “No question about that.”

Roberts – “One of the most distinctive things that have always characterized you is your autograph. It’s legible. Where did you get that from, and why do you sign like that?”

Palmer – “I just started out that way as a boy. I always figured if you are going to give somebody an autograph, give it to them so that they can read it. Or if you write your name, write it so that you can read it. I had a school teacher, her name was Rita Taylor – this was first grade – she taught me to write and taught me to write my name correctly.”

Roberts –“We know through time we have heard the stories about how close you were to your dad and how much you looked up to him. In terms of sports, who were your heroes? So many people look up to you. Who did you look up to growing up?”

Palmer – “Babe Ruth happened to be one. I liked the way he did things and threw his hands up in the air, things like that. That was something that was very important to me.”

Roberts – “Let me talk to you a little bit in closing about this year and this tournament. You made some changes here. Every year we get here, you tinker a little bit, and you’ve got some surprises for the guys. This year, the biggest surprise is that the golf course is completely re-grassed, at least in the closely mowed areas. It looks as good as it ever has. I imagine you are enormously proud of the way it has turned out.”

Palmer – “I’m surprised. I’m surprised that it turned out as good as it did. The Super did a great job. He has been working hard to give the golf course the touch that it needed. The fairways are like putting greens. The golf course overall is better than it has ever been in the history of the club.”

Roberts – “Will it play any differently because it is as lush as it is?”

Palmer – “Oh, yes, it will play better. They will be able to hit the shots they want to hit. They will be able to putt. Putting on the greens will be very good. This should be the best year ever, and the results should show that.”