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Fred Couples wins the Par 3 Challenge

A day after missing a 3-foot putt worth $140,000, Fred Couples more than made up for it by winning the Par-3 Shootout and earning $410,000.

Couples made three of the four birdies posted in the second and final round of the exhibition. He collected $280,000 when he birdied the 148-yard 14th hole, validated that with a par on the 172-yard 15th at Treetops Resort.

In the event that also featured Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino, a player who wins a hole must validate that win by winning or matching the low score on the following hole.

Couples won another $80,000 with a birdie on the 139-yard final hole. Players need not validate a victory on the final hole of the 18-hole event.

Couples won an additional $50,000 by being closest to the pin on five of the 18 holes played. But he didn't get much sleep after missing that 3-footer.

``I had a chance (Monday), and I had a long night,'' Couples said. ``In a skins game, though, it really only takes one good thing to happen. It was a good day, a lot of fun for me and tough for everybody else.''

The other three players collected only money awarded for being closest to the pin. Mickelson won $60,000, Trevino $50,000 and Palmer $20,000.

Palmer won the 143-yard 16th hole with a 6-foot birdie putt, but failed to validate his win on the following hole, when Couples rolled in a birdie putt.

Mickelson won $10,000 Tuesday when he was closest to the pin on the first hole. He was closest to five pins in Monday's opening round.

``I started out closest to the pin, but then I hit a poor putt that was never on line,'' he said. ``I didn't putt that well these two days and struggled to get the ball close.''

Trevino won last year's event, when he collected a $1 million bonus for a hole-in-one on No. 7.

``There were not a lot of birdies out there today,'' Trevino said. ``The course played a lot harder than last year. It was hard to judge the wind, so it played pretty tough.''

In addition to being closest to the pin on the 16th hole, which he birdied, Palmer also was closest to the pin on the 147-yard 11th hole.



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