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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 18, 2010

Nicklaus, Watson skin competition

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Tom Watson, left, and Jack Nicklaus toast their victory in the Champions Skins Game.

ED KAGEYAMA | Ka'anapali Golf Resort via AP

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KA'ANAPALI, Maui Old guys still rule on Maui.

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson held off defending champions Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw to win the Champions Skins Game at the Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course yesterday.

"Who played? I don't remember," said Nicklaus, who turns 70 on Thursday. "That's part of being old, isn't it? You don't have to remember what happened 5 minutes ago."

He won't forget this one.

Nicklaus and the 60-year-old Watson birdied two holes to win three skins and $130,000 on the back nine. The Hall of Fame duo and the oldest team in the tournament finished with 10 skins and $350,000 for their second victory in the event in four years.

It was an early birthday present for Nicklaus and a little redemption for the team after being blanked last year. The victory means Nicklaus will be back next year.

"If Tom will put up with me, we'll be back," said Nicklaus.

On a balmy day, Zoeller-Crenshaw took five straight skins for $230,000 to finish second in the alternate-shot, made-for-TV event. They were trying to become the first team to repeat after winning a record $530,000 last year.

Fred Couples, making his Champions Tour debut, and Nick Price sank a 4-footer for birdie on the playoff hole with two skins and $150,000 on the line including the 18th-hole, $100,000 "Superskin" to finish third with $190,000.

Gary Player and Loren Roberts were shut out.

Nicklaus made his 20th appearance in Champions Skins, which will be televised next month, and added to his record for skins (114) and money ($2.6 million).

"Nothing shocks us," Zoeller said. "We've seen it. I've seen it for 34 years, it doesn't shock us when he makes it."