Watson, Nicklaus repeat as Skins Game champs|
Maui, HI (Sports Network) - Tom Watson poured in a 12-foot birdie putt on the
17th hole Sunday to give himself and Jack Nicklaus their second straight win
at the Ka'anapali Champions Skins Game.
Watson and Nicklaus, who also won this crown in 2007, finished with $310,000
and seven skins on the North Course at Royal Ka'anapali Golf Resort.
"The beauty and tragedy of the Skins Game is what happened today," Watson
stated. "Freddy (Couples) and Nick (Price) hit the ball close to the hole,
they got tied a couple times and had straight-out opportunities a couple times
and missed. We were just hanging on the sidelines until the 17th happened."
Bernhard Langer and Mark O'Meara took second place with $300,000 and seven
Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw, the 2009 champs, did not win a hole on Sunday,
but shared third place with two skins and $80,000. They were joined in third
by Couples and Price.
After Couples just missed a 15-footer for eagle on No. 10, Price tapped in for
birdie. That gave them two skins and $80,000 because the ninth was halved on
Couples could have won the 11th with a 20-footer for birdie, but instead Price
and Nicklaus halved the hole with pars.
Langer drained an eight-footer for birdie on the 12th to get two more skins,
lifting his team to six skins.
Price and Couples missed birdie chances on 13 and 14 respectively that would
have won the holes. Couples birdied the 15th, but Langer matched him. Couples
had another chance to win a hole on 16, but his birdie chance slid by the left
Nicklaus and Watson were in vintage form on the par-three 17th. Nicklaus teed
off last and dropped his tee ball within 12 feet. After Langer lipped out his
15-foot birdie effort, Watson drained his birdie putt for five skins. That
sealed the victory as it lifted their total to seven skins and $310,000.
"I sort of hit this dead ball up there and it just sort of fluttered around in
the air," Nicklaus joked about his tee shot on 17. "Well, it turned out okay
and it turned out to be the right shot."
Langer and Watson had good birdie putts on the 18th to collect the final skin,
The four teams went to the 17th for a playoff. Nicklaus, O'Meara and Crenshaw
converted par putts. However, Price missed his short par putt to eliminate
himself and Couples from the playoff as all teams needed the same score to
"We really only hit one poor shot today and that was the first time around on
17," Price admitted in a television interview. "We just couldn't finish out
and that's what the other guys did. And that's why they won the cash."
Nicklaus dumped his approach into the water short of the green to basically
take himself and Watson out of contention on the second extra hole. Zoeller
chunked a sand shot before Crenshaw nearly chipped in for par.
Langer left his birdie putt short, but O'Meara tapped in for par to pick up
the final skin.
NOTES: All eight players will donate 10-percent of their winnings to
charity...After a week off, the Champions Tour will return to action in
Florida at the Allianz Championship, where Bernhard Langer beat John Cook in a
playoff last year.
01/31 00:11:02 ET