CONCORD, Mass. Don't expect Arnold Palmer to be among the contestants at the Jeld-Wen Tradition, the final major event on the Champions Tour, Aug. 28-31, at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha.

'Questionable, very questionable,' Palmer said during the FleetBoston Classic last weekend. 'The way I'm playing, I'm probably going to abstain.'

Palmer has been a fixture over the years at the Fred Meyer Challenge, in large part because of his friendship with Peter Jacobsen.

'I'm giving it some serious thought,' Palmer says. 'I've been working on my game, trying to smooth my swing out a little bit and get a little more ass into it, but I'm not getting a great deal done. It is going to have to improve quite a lot before I make that commitment.'

nEx-Winter Hawk Cam Neely can swing a golf club almost as well as a hockey stick.

Neely shot 78-77 and tied for third among 12 current and former NHL stars as part of competition at the FleetBoston Classic. As part of the deal between the Champions Tour and the NHL, Neely's charitable foundation which benefits cancer victims receives a minimum donation of $50,000.

'The association is great for both sports,' says Neely, the former Boston Bruins standout who lives here year-round. 'It is fabulous exposure for my foundation, too.'

Neely learned last week that his No. 8 jersey will be retired by the Bruins next season.

'That was quite a call to take,' he says. 'It is a huge honor.'

The British Columbia native says he visits Vancouver annually and keeps in touch with trainer Innes Mackie, President Ken Hodge and Jann Boss in the front office.

nCorvallis' Bob Gilder, who serves on the Champions Tour board of directors, says the most controversial issue facing the board this year is the use of golf carts. Carts are OK for most tournaments but not for majors, to the consternation of some players, especially the older ones.

'We might tweak the rule one way or the other,' says Gilder, who is on the side of no carts, period.

'I know Arnold (Palmer) is dead set against carts. He has walked every round he has ever played. He wanted to do away with them entirely but got shot down by everything. I think some of the guys are lazy. I don't quite understand it.'

nLook for five home exhibition games for the Trail Blazers this fall, including a pair outside of Portland against Sacramento on Oct. 9 in Eugene and against Seattle on Oct. 14 in Central Oregon's Redmond. Noncounting opener is Oct. 7 versus Houston in the Rose Garden.

nCan't anybody here get the story straight?

Twice we have printed what we were told was the correct information about where money goes when an NBA team fines a player, as the Blazers did last month with Damon Stoudamire. First, Portland President Steve Patterson said it could go to a variety of places, at the team's discretion. NBA Players' Association and league officials corrected that, saying the money is to be split 50 percent to a union charity, 50 percent to NBA charitable endeavors.

Now, players association and league officials say they stand corrected that what they said is true for fines levied by the NBA, but not by a team.

'We don't have anything to do with team fines,' says Tim Frank, the NBA's senior director of basketball communications.

Patterson could be forgiven if he were wrong, having returned to the NBA after being away from the league for a decade. And it turns out he was right. Sorry, Steve.

'Nobody seems to know, do they?' Patterson says good-naturedly.

Now they do.

nA strong contingent of 20 swimmers representing Oregon begins work today in the U.S. Nationals at Baltimore.

'It is an awfully good group of girls,' says Burt Stratton, for 27 years coach at David Douglas High and with the Douglas Swim Club. 'One of the better groups we have had over the years.'

Three names to watch for, courtesy of Stratton: Tualatin Hills' Genna Patterson and Mount Hood's Felicia Castaneda in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and Roseburg's Kathryn Thompson in the 200 backstroke.

Contact Kerry Eggers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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