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Palmer sparks a Warburg rally

Published Sep. 4, 2005

Arnold Palmer figured he was just going along for the ride in a best-ball match Saturday with Tom Watson. He wound up sparking their comeback with a 40-foot birdie putt.

"When he made that putt on the long par 3, I said, "You know what? We're in the game now,' " Watson said.

Watson followed Palmer's heroics with three birdie putts as they rallied for a 3-and-2 victory over Gary Player and Bernhard Langer in the Warburg Cup.

The matches feature 12-man teams from the United States and the "Rest of the World." Six players on each team are 40-49, and the other six are 50 and older.

The United States and the world team split the best-ball matches on a rainy day at Sea Island Golf Club, allowing the Americans to take a 6{-5{ lead into today's 12 singles matches.

"I was just along for the walk," said Palmer, the 73-year-old playing captain for the U.S. team. "Tom did the damage on the back side. I contributed, and that's all I wanted to do."

Down three at the turn, Palmer and Watson won six straight to close out the match on the 16th.

Watson carried the load, especially when it started pouring. The five-time British Open champion plays well in bad weather, and he birdied four of six holes in the rain.

"It was like watching a young Tom Watson," Player said. "He was dynamite."

Palmer and Player won't get any help today. For the second straight year, the captains play each other in the opening match. Other singles matches include Curtis Strange against Sam Torrance in a showdown of Ryder Cup captains, and Mark O'Meara against Nick Faldo.

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