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Palmer tries to keep perfect captain's record intact
by Doug Ferguson

Arnold Palmer puts an amazing record on the line this week when golf's silly season gets under way at the UBS Warburg Cup. The United States has never lost a cup when Palmer was captain.

Palmer was 2-0 as a Ryder Cup captain, including 1963 when he won four matches at East Lake as the last playing captain. He was captain at the 1996 Presidents Cup, when the Americans squeezed out a 16 -15 victory.

And he was captain of the inaugural UBS Warburg Cup last year, beating counterpart Gary Player as the United States won by a single point.

Is he that good?

"I don't know about that," Palmer said with a hardy laugh. "There was never a year where you could just walk in and win. It always came to a breaking point, and we've been able to edge out."

Among silly-season events, the UBS Warburg is one of the most entertaining.

Played this year at Sea Island Golf Club, it features 12-man teams from the United States and the "Rest of the World." Six players are from the 40-49 age group, and the other six are 50 and older.

After two days of team matches, the fun starts Sunday when captains can manipulate the draw to provide compelling matchups.

Player returns as captain of the Rest of the World team and will face Palmer again.

Another singles match is likely to feature Ryder Cup captains Curtis Strange and Sam Torrance. The only way this match doesn't take place is if Torrance wants to go out early and Strange prefers to go last.

The mystery is whom Palmer sends out to play Nick Faldo. Among the choices are Scott Hoch and Raymond Floyd (Faldo beat them both in Masters playoffs) or Paul Azinger, who has never lost to Faldo in four Ryder Cup matches.


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