Arnold Palmer “The Godfather”, denies DiMarco from Bay Hill!
It is unquestioned that Arnold Palmer, "the King" is one of the most popular golfers of all time. In addition to his Hall of Fame credentials, he's also well known for his charitable giving and being an "everyman" traced back to his blue collar Pennsylvania roots. However, don't think this easy going personality prevents him from being tough when comes to business. He can act as swift as any Mafia Don when someone crosses him. It is well documented that when Peter Kessler was critical of the King for promoting a nonconforming driver to be used by recreational players, he was promptly "let go" by the Golf Channel.
His latest victim appears to be Chris DiMarco, the popular die hard Gator golfer. In the past Chris made some comments regarding Bay Hill's greens being unfair or something to that effect. Thereafter, he started skipping Bay Hill and going on vacation with his family as his kid's spring break was at that time. This year his children's spring break did not conflict with the tournament, so he requested a sponsor's exemption, but was denied. Its hard to believe that a popular local golfer with DiMarco's credentials would be denied, unless he had said or done something that "the Don" didn't like. We'll let you be the judge.
Lastly, we want to make it clear that this article is not meant to be a slam against Arnold Palmer. We love Arnie and his army, and we definitely don't want to be "sleeping with the fishes."
UPDATE 3/26/09: Andres Romero withdrew from the tournament, so now DiMarco gets in as first alternate. Should be interesting.