The crowd continued to crowd around Arnold Palmer Saturday, so an escort was provided to help him from the 18th green to the clubhouse. Still, Palmer stopped in front of the tent and began another marathon autograph session.
Palmer feels strongly about his obligation to sign autographs and even carries his own pen.
"I think it's too bad that we have gotten to the point in sports where an athlete now charges for an autograph," Palmer said. "If you took the galleries away, took fans away from all sports, there would be no high pay, there would not be athletes, there would be no reason for them to sign autographs because no one would know them.
"Fans have created demand for athletes. It's sad that people charge for autographs. I'd rather see a guy not sign one. That's the way I'll always feel about it."
Palmer shot 72 Saturday despite another triple-bogey 8 on No. 7.
Littler wins the
In the tournament within a tournament, Gene Littler won the Vantage Classic (the 60-and-over division) with a par on the first playoff hole. Littler, 60, shot 73 Saturday for a 140 total, tying Don January and Miller Barber.
In the playoff on No.
10, January's approach found water and Barber missed the green, eventually bogeying. Littler two-putted for par and the $11,000 prize.
"I'm still concentrating on the (overall) tournament," Littler said. "And if they want to give me money for this, that's fine."
Trevino slaps 4-iron
into hole for eagle-2
Lee Trevino may have been forgotten but for a run on the back nine, begun by an eagle-2 on the 395-yard par-4 10th hole. Facing a 159-yard approach shot into the wind, Trevino pulled a 4-iron from his bag and hit it into the hole. Trevino shot 3 under on the back for a 68, putting him at 4 under.
Another bunch of golfers putt for prizes today when the 248 finalists in the "Metlife Putt for Seniors" start at 9 a.m. They are competing for two round-trip Delta Airlines tickets. Tournament attendance records continue to fall; a new single-day mark of 37,162 was set Saturday. Overall, attendance is 88,023, almost 19,000 more than last year's record pace.
_ KEVIN THOMAS and BOB HARIG
From South Pinellas, take I-275 to Bearss. Left on Bearss to Dale Mabry. Right on Dale Mabry to Van Dyke Road. Left on Van Dyke Road and follow signs to public parking.
From North Pinellas, take Race Track Road or Tarpon Springs Road to Gunn Hwy. Left on Gunn Hwy to Lutz Lake Fern Road. Right on Lutz Lake Fern Road and follow signs to public parking.
From Tampa, take Dale Mabry North to Van Dyke Road. Left on Van Dyke Road and follow signs to public parking. Or, take Bearss to Dale Mabry. Right on Dale Mabry to Van Dyke Road. Left on Van Dyke Road and follow signs to public parking.