Palmer pain as stars stay away

Arnold Palmer, inset, is disappointed the world’s top two Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy decided not to play in the PGA Tour event bearing his name this week.

“I’m certainly not happy that those fellas chose not to come this year,” said Palmer yesterday on the eve of a tournament which does not have anyone from the world’s top six in the field.

“To have a couple of the top players internationally and US not here, I’m kind of sorry for that, but I think we can get that squared away and maybe we’ll entice them to come in the future.”

McIlroy, deposed as number one by Donald on Sunday, has written to 82-year-old Palmer asking for a meeting.

“I’m not sure that I know exactly what he wants me to tell him or what he wants to hear from me, but I look forward to seeing him and talking to him.

“He also mentioned in the letter that he will be here to play in the years to come.”

The Irishman is in the middle of a three-week break before the Masters and is currently in Miami with tennis girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.

England’s Donald won last week in what was his final appearance before the first Major of the season in a fortnight.


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