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Floyd & Quigley claim Champions Skins Game

When it comes to the Champions Skins Game, there is no one better than Raymond Floyd.

Floyd claimed his sixth title in this event as he and Dana Quigley teamed up to capture 10 skins in the last three holes and an event-record $510,000 at Wailea Golf Club on Monday.

Normally an individual event, the Champions Skins Game was held using an alternate-shot, two-man team format for the first time. With the new format, the purse was increased by $170,000 to $770,000.

"I think the format is incredible," Floyd said. "It was well thought of. The skins format had been the same for so long, it was getting a little bit stale. I think this will infuse some lift into it."

Rallying under amazing circumstances, Floyd and Quigley set an event record and tied another as they turned the momentum of the round on a very valuable 17th hole.

After no skins were decided from the ninth hole on, Quigley knocked an iron within eight feet of the hole on the par-4 17th. Floyd then captured nine skins and $410,000 for his team when he dropped in the putt for a birdie despite the ball hanging on the lip for a moment to increase the drama.

Floyd was very relieved after admitting that he did not strike the ball like he would have wanted to.

"I hit the ground and the ball at the same time," he said. "In other words, I hit it fat."

It was the largest amount of money ever won on a single hole in this event, obliterating the previous mark of $290,000 won by Floyd in 1995.

The number of skins decided also tied the record, set by Jack Nicklaus on the 17th in 1991.

With that one birdie, Quigley and Floyd passed the team of Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who claimed eight skins through the first eight holes.

"If you hang in there long enough, something good will happen because this is his format," said Quigley about his partner. "Raymond's a very easy guy to play with as a partner. He's the icon of the skins game."

After no winner was decided on par-4 18th, the hole was played again to decide the final skin worth $100,000. Floyd drove his tee shot down the center of the fairway, Quigley followed with iron within 10 feet of the hole and Floyd sunk the putt to seal his sixth title in this event.

"That putt, I'll always remember," Floyd said. "People always ask me about one shot in my career that won a tournament, I really have trouble recalling a specific shot on an 18th hole. But I will always remember that putt right there."

It was Floyd's first skins title since 1998, when he capped a string of five consecutive crowns. Since turning 50, Floyd was won six of the eight skins events he has competed in.

In an event that featured eight players with a combined 561 tournament titles worldwide, including 49 majors, Nicklaus and Watson got out to a strong lead after posting a birdie on No. 1 and then collecting seven skins and $230,000 with a birdie at the par-3 eighth.

"On the first hole, I felt like I could drive it through the fairway," said Nicklaus, whose team finished with $260,000. "I don't know what Tom hit and he hit it in about 15-16 feet and Raymond was in closer and I just knocked it in and they missed. I've made skins on the eighth hole several times here."

The teams of Arnold Palmer and Peter Jacobsen and Gary Player and Hale Irwin were both shut out.

The first six holes at the Wailea Golf Club's Gold Course were worth $30,000, Nos. 7-12 $40,000, the next five $50,000 and No. 18 $100,000.

February 7, 2006

 




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