Crenshaw in Senior Skins debut, teams with Zoeller
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Advertiser Staff and News Services
Advertiser Staff and News Services
Ben Crenshaw will make his senior skins debut this morning when he teams with Fuzzy Zoeller in the 22nd Wendy's Champions Skins Game at Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course. The $770,000 exhibition begins at 9 a.m. today and tomorrow, with nine holes each day.
Admission is free.
Crenshaw is replacing Peter Jacobsen, who suffered a shoulder injury. Jacobsen and Zoeller won the alternate-shot team format last year, collecting $320,000 on the final day.
Crenshaw and Zoeller face formidable challengers: The teams of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson (2007 champions), Greg Norman and Jay Haas ($38 million in combined earnings), and Gary Player and Bernhard Langer (231 combined wins worldwide).
ESPN will air the tournament more than a month from now, showing the front nine on Feb. 28 and the back the next day.
It is Crenshaw's first appearance in any formal skins game. The two-time Masters champion (1984, 1995) won 19 times on the PGA Tour and captained the United States Ryder Cup team to a memorable victory over the Europeans in 1999.
The first six holes will be worth $30,000 each, the next six $40,000, the next five $50,000 and the 18th is worth $100,000. If a team does not win the hole outright the money carries over.
Players donate 10 percent to charity — 5 percent to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and 5 percent to the charity of their choice.
GREEN WITH ENVY
Second-round leader Nathan Green, 33, from Australia, made the 2000 Queensland PGA Championship his first professional victory. That gives him one more win at home than fellow Australian Adam Scott, who is ranked 18th in the world.
Green was asked if he has ever given the much better-known Scott a hard time about it.
"No, he's got a lot more game than me," Green said. "He's got a lot more of everything than me."
Reminded that Scott is rumored to be dating actress Kate Hudson, Green just laughed.
"Gee, I don't know. I have no idea about that," he said. "He seems to attract the females, so he can sort of pick and choose a little."
BUSINESS IS BAD
How hard has the financial crunch become?
Well, a curious situation along the first fairway might provide a clue. There, through the bars of a backyard fence of a palatial home, a vendor posted a sign offering bottled water, drinks and potato chips for sale.
Business, however, was hardly booming.
MARINO LOOKS BACK
Steve Marino chipped in on the 17th yesterday to pull into seventh heading into the weekend, but just two years ago he was a rookie making his first tour start at the Sony Open. He got paired with Michelle Wie the first two days, and endured all the craziness that surrounds Big Wiesy.
Now that he looks back, it wasn't so bad.
"I was kind of thrown into the lion's den playing with her," Marino said. "In a way I think that actually helped me, my first event on the PGA Tour, getting paired with Michelle Wie. There's so many people around, I think it was good for me to experience something like that right off the bat, and it gave me some confidence to realize that I handled it well and I made the cut and I didn't get overwhelmed by the situation.
Unlike Wie, Marino made the cut that year and eventually tied for 34th: "I beat her," he said yesterday. "And that's the main thing out here."
He wasn't satisfied with the win. Marino also asked Wie for a Sony PlayStation 3.
"She said she couldn't get me one," he said with a shrug.
Vijay Singh, the 2005 Sony champion, underwent successful arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Singh had planned to play this week, but took his name off the commitment sheet after scheduling the surgery. He is expected to miss three weeks and could be back for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Carl Pettersson's team won the Wednesday Pro-Am at Waialae with a score of 53. His amateur teammates were Jerry Tambalo, Bill Dornbush, Keith Matsunaga and Corbett Kalama.
TIGER GETS THE CALL
Tiger Woods has accepted an invitation to speak at the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow as part of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration festivities.
Woods posted a short statement on his Web site to say he would speak at "We Are One," a concert and celebration that will be broadcast live on HBO.
TIED IN ABU DHABI
Graeme Storm of England and Richard Green of Australia shared the clubhouse lead yesterday after darkness stopped play during the second round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Storm shot an 8-under 64 and Green shot a 65 to share the lead at 11-under 133.
Twenty-seven players still need to finish their rounds after a backlog from Thursday's opening round, which was called because of rain and darkness.