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All star field for Senior Skins Game

Hale Irwin and Gary Player will act as co-defending champions in late January when they are joined by legendary golfers Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer at the 2001 Senior Skins Game.

The two-day made-for-television event will be played January 27-28, and staged for the first time at Wailea Resort after being held at Mauna Lani Resort from 1990-99.

Irwin won the 1999 event with seven skins and $230,000 but stepped aside for this year's event so Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, and Tom Watson, the original Skins Game participants, could compete in the first Senior Skins Game of the new millennium.

The 55-year-old Irwin has won 29 Senior PGA Tour titles, including four this year, and has posted four straight $2 million seasons. He has earned $600,000 in three Senior Skins Games.

Player won this year's Senior Skins Game by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to win $220,000 and his only four skins. He also won the inaugural Skins Game in 1983.

Player, 65, will be competing in his sixth Senior Skins Game. The South African has captured more than 160 tournaments around the world and is one of only five players to win all four major championships, along with Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen.

Nicklaus, the 1991 champion, will be making his 11th appearance at this event, and is third in combined Skins and Senior Skins earnings with $1.685 million. The 60-year-old has captured a record 18 major championships and more than 80 tournaments worldwide.

Palmer, 71, will be competing in a record 13th Senior Skins Game, missing only the 1997 event due to prostate cancer. He won the title three times in the 1990s, most recently in 1993, is second on the Senior Skins all-time money list with $1.045 million, and ranks third in skins won with 38.

Palmer has won 70 titles in his career, including four Masters, two British Opens, and one U.S. Open.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the Gold Course at Wailea Resort is a par-72 layout measuring 7,078 yards.

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