OTHER GOLF TOURNAMENTS
The pairing of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson was as good as any other team at the Champions Skins Game yesterday.
Nicklaus and Watson tied with Quigley and Floyd
WAILEA, Maui » Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson hadn't played a competitive round of golf in a long time. No one could tell.
Nicklaus and Watson grabbed a share of the front-nine lead in the Champions Skins Game yesterday, teaming for two skins to match defending champions Raymond Floyd and Dana Quigley at $60,000.
"Jack and Tom take a lot of time off, but when they come back, it looks like they've been playing forever," Quigley said. "They don't lose a step it seems like.
"In my case, if I took the time off that these guys did, I don't think I could get it airborne," he said.
The teams of Arnold Palmer-Loren Roberts and Gary Player-Jay Haas were shut out in the four-team, alternate-shot event. With no one able to capture the last five skins, the par-4 10th will be worth six skins and $220,000 today.
"You can add up all my first holes in my life, which are a lot. They're nowhere near $220,000," Quigley said. "This is uncharted territory."
With only $120,000 claimed on the front nine, there is still $650,000 left.
"The Skins event is the only event you play for money," Nicklaus said. "That is the factor of what you play for. Every other tournament, you play for a title and money comes with the title.
"It's an equally fun game. You're basically playing 18 tournaments."
Quigley, an 11-time winner on the Champions Tour, expects everyone to be extra warmed up and loose before today's opening hole.
"You'll see a bunch of old men up on that practice tee early tomorrow morning trying to get the kinks out," Quigley said.
Nicklaus got his team on the board early, sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on the first hole to pick up $30,000. The sun-soaked crowed roared for the Golden Bear.
His putt was set up by a solid second shot by Watson. Nicklaus paid his teammate back two holes later by hitting a wedge to 3 1/2 feet, setting up an easy birdie.
"We had chances every single hole," Nicklaus said. "We hit some nice putts. We hit some nice shots."
With the second hole carried over, Quigley holed a 6-footer on the par-3 third for birdie to win two skins and $60,000. The putt was set up by a 5-iron shot by Floyd.
But Nicklaus-Watson won the next hole to regain a share of the lead.