• Florida teenager Alexa Hammer awarded first scholarship
• The 85-year-old is gearing up for honorary tee shot at Augusta
Arnold Palmer has revealed his pride at having a scholarship programme at the University of St Andrews, after its first ever recipient was announced recently.
The 85-year-old was speaking ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and praised Alexa Hammer, a Florida teenager who was awarded the first ever Arnold Palmer Scholarship to Scotland.
Back-to-back Open champion in the early 60s, Palmer has enjoyed a legendary association with the Home of Golf, which was cemented in 2010 when he received an honorary doctorate from the university alongside Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington.
"I think it’s wonderful that this young lady has received this scholarship" - Arnold Palmer
Speaking about the scholarship, Palmer said: “I think St Andrews University and St Andrews go hand-in-hand and I think it’s wonderful that this young lady has received this scholarship.
“I have one from St Andrews myself and I’m very pleased and happy. I think we’ll see more of that and that is part of my ambition.”
With the Masters only three weeks away, doubts had been raised over whether Arnold Palmer would hit the honorary tee shot alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to get the tournament underway.
Palmer dislocated his right shoulder in a fall in December and hasn’t been able to hit a golf ball since, but did much to quell any fears that he wouldn’t be on the first tee come April 9.
He said: “I have a dislocated shoulder from when I fell the evening I was going to speak at the father-son and I slipped on a carpet in my house and did a 360.
“It’s been healing and I’ve been doing physical therapy ever since and it’s starting to feel – I can almost get it up this high but can’t quite yet. As soon as I can, I will start doing my exercises again and work really hard at it.
“Maybe this week or next week I’m going to start hitting the ball and I have every intention of hitting the first drive at Augusta.”
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