By Golfweek Staff
ORLANDO, Fla. – Arnold Palmer was conspicuously absent from the 18th-hole ceremony at his Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday evening because he was rushed to a local hospital with what a tournament official said was high blood pressure.
"I just talked to his daughter Amy (Saunders) who's with him, and I think the blood-pressure situation is starting to ameliorate and improving," Alastair Johnston, the chief operating officer of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, said in a hastily arranged news conference minutes after Tiger Woods' dramatic five-shot victory. "Nobody is overly concerned about the prognosis, although he is going to remain in the hospital overnight for observation."
Palmer, 82, reportedly had been under observation all week because of his blood pressure and did not play in the pro-am portion of the tournament. Palmer's blood pressure improved after he received treatment at Dr. Phillips Hospital, Johnston said.
The golf legend left his Arnold Palmer Invitational about 15 minutes before Tiger Woods put the finishing touches on his seventh victory at Bay Hill and thus was not able to attend the awards ceremony as usual.
Palmer underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 1997. He has been remarkably active in his senior years and served as the ambassador for his eponymous annual tournament on the PGA Tour's Florida Swing.
Palmer's 62 PGA Tour victories rank fifth all-time and include seven major championships.
– Jeff Rude contributed