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Stephen Ames to defend Skins Game

Defending champion Stephen Ames and Masters winner Zach Johnson will play in the 25th Skins Game on Thanksgiving weekend.

Organizers said Tuesday that Ames and Johnson will be joined on the Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort by Fred Couples, the most successful golfer in Skins Game history, and Brett Wetterich.

Ames won his Skins Game debut last year with a 3-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole. He won eight skins and $590,000 -- all on the second day of the two-day event -- to beat Couples, John Daly and 2005 champion Fred Funk.

Couples, entering his 14th year in the Skins Game, earned $385,000 in last year's competition. With his victory in the 2004 event, Couples earned his fifth title and second consecutive championship. He holds the records for most career skins won with 86 and most money earned with $3.18 million.

The event, sponsored by LGA Electronics, offers a purse of $1 million.

The first Skins Game was played in 1983 at the Desert Highlands in Scottsdale, Ariz. It was played the past four years at Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Calif. Among those who have competed are Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Phil Mickelson and Annika Sorenstam, the only female player.

August 15, 2007


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