ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Arnold Palmer was hospitalized Sunday afternoon because of high blood pressure from new medication, missing the trophy presentation at his tournament when Tiger Woods won for the first time in 30 months on the PGA Tour.
Palmer was being kept overnight as a precaution.
“Nobody is overly concerned about the prognosis,'' said Alaistair Johnston, vice chairman at IMG and Palmer's longtime business manager.
Johnston said Palmer had been advised to monitor his blood pressure throughout the day because of some issues with new medicine he was taking.
He said one last test about 15 minutes before the tournament showed an increase in blood pressure.
“It wasn't anything to do with any ailments or any discomfort he felt,'' Johnston 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.''
His absence was noticeable. One of the biggest thrills at the Arnold Palmer Invitational is to have The King standing behind the 18th green, waiting to congratulate the winner. Woods won for the seventh time, this time without being able to share a handshake and a hug with Palmer.
“Get well soon, Arnie,'' Woods wrote at the end of a tweet.
Graeme McDowell, who played in the last group with Woods and finished five shots behind, noticed immediately that Palmer in his pink shirt wasn't at the 18th at Bay Hill.
“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 OK,'' McDowell said. “That really puts a little bit of a damper on the spirits on 18th green when Tiger is going to pick up his trophy.''
Sam Saunders, Palmer's grandson, tweeted, “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.''