OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Arnold Palmer withdrew from the Senior PGA Championship on Tuesday because of concerns he wouldn’t be competitive.

The 76-year-old Palmer had planned to make the tournament next week at Oak Tree his first Champions Tour start of the year. He hasn’t played competitively since February, when he teamed with Peter Jacobsen in the Champions Skins Game in Hawaii.

“It is with considerable reluctance that I have come to the decision to withdraw from this year’s Senior PGA Championship at Oak Tree,” Palmer said.

“In addition to some serious business scheduling conflicts, I have become convinced that the caliber of my game is such right now that I would not be able to compete satisfactorily in the Championship.”

The only other time Palmer has missed the Senior PGA Championship was in 1986. He started in 2004, but pulled out of the rain-delayed event, citing his poor play and a hip injury. Palmer missed the cut last year, shooting 82-86 at Laurel Valley.

Palmer, the winner of four Masters, two British Opens and one U.S. Open, won the Senior PGA Championship in his first year eligible in 1980 and claimed the title again in 1984. He has won a total of 62 PGA Tour events and 10 on the senior tour.

Spokesman Doc Giffin said Palmer had not made any decisions about when he might play next. The deadline to enter the Champions Tour’s second major, the U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan., is May 31. That event is July 6-9.

“He’s kind of put all his golf on hold,” Giffin said.

AP-ES-05-16-06 1815EDT