Irwin, Nicklaus, Palmer, Zoeller Set to Compete at 2002 Senior Skins Game, Saturday, Jan. 26 on ABC-TV from Wailea, Maui
Irwin is defending champion; Zoeller joins stellar group
Contact Toby Zwikel or Fred Robledo
WAILEA, Maui (November 27, 2001) -- Golf legends Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Fuzzy Zoeller will get together for the 2002 SENIOR SKINS GAME at Wailea Resort's championship Gold Course on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Zoeller, who turned 50 on November 11, will make his debut on the Senior PGA TOUR in 2002. Irwin is defending champion, having won last January in a playoff. The purse for the SENIOR SKINS GAME is $600,000.
Although all 18 holes of the 15th annual SENIOR SKINS GAME will be played the same day, ABC-TV will broadcast 12 holes on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 3:30-6:00 p.m., ET, and six holes on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 1:30-4:00 p.m. ET. (Times vary in different areas, check your local listings). Jim Kelly and Ian-Baker Finch will be in the booth and Andy North will be on the golf course for the telecast. The SENIOR SKINS GAME is a joint venture of ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT) and Trans World International.
This is the second SENIOR SKINS GAME at Wailea Resort following 11 years at Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii. The first SENIOR SKINS GAME was played in 1988 at Turtle Bay Golf Club on Oahu, and the second in 1989 at La Quinta, CA.
"We are thrilled to have Fuzzy Zoeller in the field for our 2002 SENIOR SKINS GAME," said Barry Frank, vice chairman of Trans World International (TWI). "He is a great addition to our foursome, along with Jack, Arnold and Hale, all among golf's greatest stars."
"Arnold and Jack have helped make this event what it is, Hale has won the last two SENIORS SKINS games he has played in, and Fuzzy, besides being an extremely entertaining player, is one of the finest players in the world," said Chuck Gerber, executive vice president and general manager of ESPN Regional Television, Inc.
"The SENIOR SKINS GAME has always been one of the SENIOR PGA TOUR's most attractive events," said Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Arnold, Jack, Hale and Fuzzy will certainly make for 18 holes of enjoyment. Wailea Resort is a spectacular setting for the second SENIOR TOUR event of 2002."
Irwin won the 2001 SENIOR SKINS GAME with seven skins and $320,000. He won the final six skins and $180,000 with a birdie on the first playoff hole. Nicklaus, who finished second with 10 skins and $260,000, could have won if he had missed a four-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. If Nicklaus had missed the putt, Gary Player would have won the six skins and $180,000 and Nicklaus would have been the SENIOR SKINS GAME champion. Nicklaus made the putt to halve the hole and force a playoff.
Irwin, who has earned $920,000 in four SENIOR SKINS GAMES, became the first player to earn more than $2 million in a single season in 1997 ($2,343,364), when he tied a SENIOR PGA TOUR record with nine wins. He added seven wins and a record $2,861,945 in 1998. Irwin captured 20 titles on the PGA TOUR, including the U.S. Open in 1974, 1979 and 1990, and has added a record 32 titles in seven years on the SENIOR PGA TOUR. His combined career earnings equal $19,887,905.
Owner of 92 career titles, including four Masters, two British Opens, one U.S. Open and one U.S. Amateur, Palmer will be playing in his 14th SENIOR SKINS GAME. He didn't play in 1997 because of prostate cancer. He won the SENIOR SKINS three times in the 1990s, most recently in 1993.
Palmer is third on the SENIOR SKINS GAME money list with $1,065,000, third in skins won with 40 and fourth on the combined SKINS/SENIOR SKINS earnings list with $1,310,000. He has lifetime earnings of $3,574,236 on the PGA TOUR and SENIOR PGA TOUR combined.
Nicklaus, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, will be playing in the SENIOR SKINS GAME for the 12th time. The winner of an unprecedented 20 major championships, including six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens and two U.S. Amateurs, Nicklaus has won more than 80 tournaments throughout the world and has career earnings of $8,755,116.
Named Golfer of the Century by GOLF Magazine in 1988 and by Golf Monthly U.K., in 1996, Nicklaus won the 1991 SENIOR SKINS GAME. He is No. 2 on the SENIOR SKINS GAME career money list ($1,295,000) and No. 3 on the combined SKINS/SENIOR SKINS money list with $1,945,000. A five-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year, the PGA TOUR and SENIOR PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors now bear his name.
Zoeller, a 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including the 1979 Masters and the 1984 U.S. Open, both in playoffs, is one of golf's most colorful and charismatic players. In his prime, he was also one of the best players in the world and played on three Ryder Cup teams.
Zoeller played in the regular SKINS GAME three times and was spectacular on Sunday the first two times. In his SKINS GAME debut in 1986 at Bear Creek in Temecula, Calif., Zoeller was blanked the first day, then won all nine skins on Sunday to win the title with nine skins and $255,000. In 1987, the SKINS GAME moved to the Stadium Course at PGA West and Zoeller came through again on Sunday, winning a record 14 skins and $310,000. The 14 skins on Sunday remains the record for most skins won in a single day.
In the SENIOR SKINS GAME, each hole is a tournament within itself, with the prize money carried over if no player wins a hole outright. The $600,000 total purse is broken down to $20,000 for each of the first six holes, $30,000 for each of the middle six holes, $40,000 each for holes 13 through 17, and $100,000 for the 18th hole. The players donate 10 percent of their winnings to the charity of their choice.
The Wailea Gold Course is the most challenging of Wailea Golf Club's trio of courses. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the 7,078-yard Gold has been lauded by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world's best designed golf courses. Since it opened in 1994, the course has earned honors as one of the country's 10 best new resort courses by both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest, as well as received a historic preservation award from the Maui Historical Society.
The 2002 SENIOR SKINS GAME is sponsored by Wailea Golf Resort, Inc., The Shops at Wailea, Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, Outrigger Wailea Resort, Maui Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, Four Seasons Resort Maui, Diamond Resort and Destination Resorts Hawaii. For general information about the SENIOR SKINS GAME at Wailea, call 1-800-332-1614 (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada) or visit http://seniorskinswailea.com.
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