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March 25 2012

11:00 PM

Palmer taken to hospital for observation

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

ORLANDO -- Arnold Palmer wasn't at the 18th green at Bay Hill on Sunday, as is his custom, to congratulate Tiger Woods on his seventh victory at tournament that bears the legend's name.

Instead, the 82-year-old Palmer was at the nearby Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and will remain there overnight. He has been taking a new medicine and having some issues with his blood pressure, so doctors were monitoring it throughout the day.

About 15 minutes before the competition ended, Palmer had undergone another routine test. During that test, though, the doctors decided he should head to the hospital.

"It wasn't anything to do with any ailments or any discomfort he felt," Alastair Johnston, the COO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises said. "The blood pressure was at a level where the doctor involved suggested that he go immediately to get more intensive evaluation at the hospital."

Johnston met with the media after Tiger Woods' press conference. He said he had just talked with Palmer's daughter, Amy, and the outlook was positive.

"I think the blood pressure situation is starting to ameliorate and improving," Johnston said. "And nobody is overly concerned about the prognosis, although he is going to remain in the hospital overnight for observation."

Graeme McDowell, who finished second to Woods and was playing with him in the final group on Sunday, said he was looking for Palmer when the two walked up to the 18th green.

“I was surprised to see him not around, and when we just heard the news on the side that he had been taken to the hospital, of course we were very upset and certainly praying that everything is going to be okay,” McDowell said. “That really puts a little bit of a dampener of the spirits on 18th green when Tiger is going to pick up his trophy.

“There's going to be a lot of thoughts going out to Mr. Palmer.  …   He is what is special about this tournament, himself, being the great host and MasterCard being great sponsors.  Between them they put a fantastic events on and I love it and say I say, our prayers are with Mr. Palmer right now.”

Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, thanked his Twitter followers for the positive thoughts they sent the family’s way. “For all concerned my granddad is doing fine and will be good to go tomorrow. Thank you for all of your nice comments and concern,” Saunders tweeted at 8:20 p.m. ET>

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