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“That’s where he needs to be,” Palmer said. “If he’s good enough to play here, he has to prove it to me. He has to play on the dot-com tour first. He’s aware of it. He’s very aware of it. Why do they want to play here if they can play over there until they’re qualified to be over here.”

Palmer believes his grandson is on the right track, and now needs only some consistency, which he is likely to find in a full season on the Tour.

He also was aware that giving his grandson a spot at Bay Hill meant turning down a more deserving player.

“I’ve got to look at all these kids in the face when I gave Sam an exemption, which he doesn’t deserve,” Palmer said. “How can I tell them they don’t get an exemption if they’re good? So it was an easy decision.”


LEWIS DEAL: Two days after Stacy Lewis rose to No. 1 in the women’s world ranking with her win in Arizona, she signed a deal worthy of the LPGA’s best player.

Omega said Tuesday it has added the 28-year-old American to its roster of ambassadors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stacy Lewis to the Omega family, where she joins a great group of some of the top players from the world of golf,” said Omega president Stephen Urquhart. “Her recent surge to the top of the women’s ranking makes her an outstanding role model for professional golfers worldwide.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Omega has been making inroads in golf in recent years, signing relationships with Greg Norman and the PGA of America.

Lewis already has won twice this year, and she was the LPGA player of the year in 2012.


TIGER TALES: Even if Tiger Woods doesn’t win at Bay Hill and return to No. 1 in the world, he is assured of one record this week.

Woods will be among the top 10 in the world for the 789th week, breaking by one week the record held by Ernie Els. Woods first reached the top 10 after winning the Masters in 1997 (he went from No. 13 to No. 3 that week), and he stayed there for 736 consecutive week until May 15, 2011, when he dropped out of the top 10 after withdrawing from The Players Championship.

He returned to the top 10 after winning at Bay Hill last year and has been there ever since.

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