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Palmer, 73, introduces bride-to-be

The King has a new queen.

Arnold Palmer formally introduced his new fiancee, Kit Gawthrop, at the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship on Wednesday, almost blushing in the process.

The two have been an item for 2{ years and have yet to nail down any of the nuptial particulars.

"Everybody keeps asking, "Where, when and how many?' " Gawthrop said. "I keep saying, "I don't know, I don't know and probably three.' "

That's bride, groom and minister.

Palmer, 73, was in Houston to announce a four-year deal with MasterCard to serve as the new presenting sponsor for the Bay Hill Invitational.

Not surprisingly, he was asked far more questions about his love life.

"It just sort of happened," said Gawthrop, who is wearing a large engagement ring.

It will be the second time around for both. Gawthrop is divorced and has three children. Palmer's wife, Winnie, died of ovarian cancer in 1999 at age 65. He has two daughters and 11 grandchildren.

Palmer and Gawthrop have known each other for decades. Her father-in-law was once part of the ownership group at Pebble Beach, where Palmer played in tournaments for years. Palmer and several friends have since purchased Pebble Beach.

How the wedding works out is anybody's guess, but if Palmer has any say, it'll be done quietly and with no fanfare, just like with his first marriage.

"When it happens, no one will know," Palmer said.

LEAVING LAS VEGAS?: The PGA Tour could leave Las Vegas after a 21-year run if a title sponsor cannot be found, commissioner Tim Finchem said. The tour released its 2004 schedule with only "TBD" _ to be determined _ next to the Oct. 6-10 normally set aside for the Las Vegas Invitational.

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