2010 Wendy’s Champions Skin Game at Kaanapali, Maui Is A Fun Event
by Scott A. Sumner
If you have followed professional golf for many years the names Nicklaus, Watson, Player, Crenshaw and Zoeller must be familiar to you. Add in some current stars like Couples, Price and Roberts and you have some of the most loved golfers in the game; all in one idyllic setting having some fun playing their game! I have covered many golf tournaments as a member of the media but the relaxed nature of the Wendy’s Champions Skin Game made this event really special for me. The team of Jack Nicklaus, age 70 and Tom Watson, age 60 were the winners of the event grossing some $350,000 and beating their younger competitors in the process.
“ Usually the winners of the Skin’s games make more putts than anyone else and that’s what we did. We had more looks at birdie than anybody. I am out here because I like to compete and still have a game with which to compete,” said Tom Watson, who finished second narrowly missing winning the 2009 British Open. “People are still coming up and saying words of kindness about the British Open last summer. You gave me some hope they say. I never lost the hope. I knew I can compete on certain courses. Turnberry is a course I can compete on. I had played Turnberry 5 times before in the British Open so I knew what clubs to use. On the other hand
“ You need some experience playing this Kaanapali course as well. You have to know what clubs to use here,” said Watson who enjoyed the course. “
“ I wasn’t as good today as yesterday. I didn’t hit balls as close today as yesterday but it was alright. We will back next year if Tom will put up with me. Freddie is the newcomer on the block but he didn’t have one of his best weeks,” said Jack Nicklaus. “When you lose your club head speed it is hard to team up. At a certain age you lose distance. I did make a few decent iron shots and a few good putts and overall we did great and it is always fun to win. I play one tournament a year so with a win I am 100%. That’s pretty good. I do know that now I don’t hit the ball far enough to compete. If I played my own ball today, I would be hitting fairway woods to the greens where other guys are hitting 8 or 9 irons. You can’t do that even on the senior tour. Some guys played short all their lives and learned to play that way. I always hit it up in the air and played by trajectory. If you do that move, the club speed has to be fast enough.”
“ The Skins games are an exhibition where you kid the other guy and give them the needle. On the
Both famous golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson enjoy
Finishing second in the event after winning last year were Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw. “In skins it is a matter of hitting it at the right time. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to walk up to a $300,000 putt to win. We play for this and it is exciting. Sometimes we can do it and sometimes you can’t,” said Ben Crenshaw. “Last year we were out dancing with our wives and had a good time. It is great to be here and be part of this team. It is always an honour to be out with Jack, Tom and Gary. They made the game what it is today. These guys made golf today. Julie and I got married here in 1985 in Kaanapali. We have come over so many times, to build a golf course here- the
“ The course is in very, very good shape. It is beautiful over here.
The team of Fred Couples and Nick Price won $190,000, while Gary Player and Loren Roberts were skunked.
The opportunity to walk the holes right with these golf legends was a thrill for me. After the game at lunch each day talking to these legends was special and something I will always remember.