The PGA Tour’s Bay Hill stop is always fun to watch because of host Arnold
Palmer and the way you see the genuine admiration guys in their 20s and
30s still have for him. But Padraig Harrington, one of the Tour’s most
intelligent and observant members, said that while today’s pros admire
Palmer, they find it difficult to be like him.
"I think Arnold Palmer gave so
much of himself to the people, and he was out there, and players, all sports people, are protected more because there’s more
issues going on," Harrington said. "Now sports people tend to be a bit more aloof and detached,
maybe because it’s bigger hype, bigger stage to be on, maybe it’s
because of the way society has moved. I can’t give you those answers.
But it is a different era, and I don’t know if it will ever
happen again. Maybe it will."
Harrington’s comments come at a time when accessibility has become an important issue on Tour. As the economic outlook has darkened, players are
feeling pressure to reach out to fans and sponsors the way Palmer did.