During Thursday’s interview session at Big Cedar Lodge in preparation for the Bass Pro Shops Legends, Lee Trevino revealed a story about Arnold Palmer’s last competitive shot of his final competitive round of golf in 2004 at Augusta Pines in Houston during play of the Administaff Small Business Classic.
It was a story not even Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player had heard, according to the report.
“I played the last competitive round with Arnold Palmer, at Augusta Pines in Houston.
We went to the fourth hole, a par-three. Arnie hits one and he looks back at me and he says ‘How close is that?’
I said, ‘How close is what?’
And he was playing in the tournament – this is a senior tournament.
I said, ‘What are you talking about ‘how close is it?’ The ball hit up on the bank and it rolled back in the water.’
He said, ‘What?’
I said, ‘It rolled back in the water.’ I said, ‘Arnie, the pin is on the right side. That’s a tree you were shooting at over there.’
This is the gospel truth: he quit on that hole. He quit on that hole. He said, ‘That’s it. That’s the last competitive shot I’ll ever hit.’
I said, ‘Let me get you a cart.’
He said, ‘No. I’m going to finish the round. I’ver never walked off a golf course and I’m not about to start today.’
From that point, Trevino informed the scorekeepers and leaderboard operators to stop updating Palmer’s scores. “The King” did in fact finish out the round, draining an eight-foot putt on 18.
“If I can say anything about Mr. Palmer: I loved the man. He was the most competitive guy I’ve ever met. He loved the game,” said Trevino.