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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP / DAILY REPORT : Palmer’s 20-Foot Putt Goes In, but He’s Out--Forever

Arnold Palmer made his last, long walk up the 18th fairway at his 37th and final PGA Championship, the one major he never won and never will.

Palmer, 64, shot a 74 and missed the cut with a 36-hole total of 153. But he finished with a flourish, rolling in a 20-foot putt on the last hole for par.

“It was the best putt of the day,” Palmer said. “It was my only made putt.”

Two months after playing in his last U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, not far from his hometown of Latrobe, Pa., Palmer closed the book on the PGA. It remains the only major title he never won.

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Palmer finished second in three PGAs, the last time in 1970 when Dave Stockton won at Southern Hills.

“It may be fitting that I ended it here,” Palmer said. “It is over. If I thought I had a game that could win the PGA Championship, I would be back to play, but this is an appropriate time to give it away.”

Palmer intends to continue to play in the Masters and might play in the British Open next year at St. Andrews, where he played his first British Open in 1960.

“That would be the last for that, too,” Palmer said. “If my game is in any kind of shape at all, I will go back.”

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For what it’s worth, Nick Price’s five-stroke lead after 36 holes is a PGA Championship record.

The previous mark was four shots, by Tommy Aaron in 1967, Gil Morgan in 1976, Tom Watson in 1978 and Greg Norman in 1986. None of them won.

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Nationalism and majors don’t mix, according to Corey Pavin. No American golfer has won a major this year but it doesn’t make any difference, he said.

“We’re all here playing individual golf,” he added. “Where we’re from, it doesn’t make any difference.

“I hear it out there on the golf course that they want a U.S. player to win and I hope it’s this U.S. player that wins, that’s all.”

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John Daly shot his second 73 and missed the cut by a shot with his 146. He didn’t miss what Nick Price has done.

“He just thinks he can make everything,” Daly said. “He isn’t seeing any trees and he doesn’t see any part of the green except the hole.”

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Defending champion Paul Azinger missed the cut by four strokes. He followed his opening 75 with a 74, after a start of birdie, double-bogey, double-bogey.

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