Originally created 01/16/97

Palmer's surgery successful



Arnold Palmer underwent successful surgery Wednesday for prostate cancer and should be back at the Masters Tournament in April.

"There's no reason to believe he won't be at the Masters (April 10-13)," Palmer's publicist and longtime confidante Doc Giffin said Wednesday. Palmer has won the first major of the year four times (1958, '60, '62 and '64).

"I can only tell you that I talked to him today and he sounds good. He's back in his room and is doing well. Everything is looking good."

Giffin said he knew no more additional details about the surgery than what was contained in the Mayo Clinic's statement, which read:

"Arnold Palmer underwent successful surgery this morning at Mayo Medical Center and is resting comfortably."

Palmer, 67, found out Friday that he had prostate cancer and entered the Rochester, Minn., hospital on Monday for tests. Surgery was performed on Wednesday morning.

Indications all along have been that Palmer's cancer was detected early. Prostate is a very curable cancer if discovered in its early stages.

Palmer withdrew from this week's Bob Hope Classic when he learned he had cancer. It was unclear when he would be able to return to competition.

Palmer did officially withdraw from the Senior Skins Game on Wednesday and was replaced in the four-man field by Lee Trevino.

The Senior Skins Game will be played Jan. 25-26 at the Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Joining Trevino in the field will be Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd and Hale Irwin.

Palmer has played in every Skins Game or Senior Skins Game since 1983, winning a total of $1,180,000. He played in both events in 1993.

Trevino has won $305,000 in five Senior Skins Game appearances and $435,00 in four Skins Games. The most memorable skin in the history of the competition might be the hole-in-one Trevino made on No. 17 at PGA West in 1987.

Trevino won 27 tournaments and six major championships on the PGA Tour and 26 titles on the Senior PGA Tour.