Jack Nicklaus & Tom Watson to defend at Royal Kaanapali Jan 29-30, 2011

Home / Maui Golf Review Magazine / Jack Nicklaus & Tom Watson to defend at Royal Kaanapali Jan 29-30, 2011

My favorite golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, is joined by the tight-lipped Tom Watson as the duo defends their title against a field of six Champions Tour superstars, when the Kaanapali Champions Skins Game returns to the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course on Jan. 29-30, 2011.

Nicklaus and Watson are joined by three Hall of Fame members: Ben Crenshaw, Bernhard Langer and Nick Price, as well as by Fred Couples, Mark O’Meara and Fuzzy Zoeller. For the sixth consecutive year, the group comprises eight players who will compete as two-man teams in the alternate-shot format skins game, where the $770,000 purse is broken down as follows: $30,000 for each of the first six holes, $40,000 for each of the middle six holes, $50,000 each for holes 13 through 17, and $100,000 for the 18th hole. Standard bearers, usually junior golfers from Maui, carry the signs showing how much is at stake, and who has won what so far. It is eye candy for the throngs of fans who follow the pairings during the two-day event as they get to see their favorite players they make their way around a familiar golf course.

The contestants will play nine holes each day, with Golf Channel televising on a tape-delayed basis from 6-8:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Jan. 29 and from 6-8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 30 (Times vary in different areas; check your local listings). The broadcast will also be available on Golf Channel HD.

“Each year, we find that hosting the Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game is such a positive experience for the players and all of our hotel guests,” says Mike Jokovich, the president of the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association Board and General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. “To watch the crowds gather and follow these great players each year is truly a wonderful sight and an exciting setting because these Champions Tour players love to interact with people. We are proud and grateful we have the opportunity to help showcase this experience again.”

Nicklaus and Watson have done well in this event: in just the past five years, the Golden Bear has won four times, and Watson has won twice.

“When you have Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson together it is a rare glimpse these days at two of golf’s greatest. Add the rest of these incredible players who are competing and it is a recipe for superb competition and an even better chance to listen what really goes on behind the ropes when friends and competitors gather,” said Barry Frank, of IMG, who brought the Skins Game concept to television. “These eight players not only represent hundreds of victories around the world but they also hold the values and display the personality which makes this such a great game.”

Barry’s right. Think about the difference between the characters and personalities on the Champions Tour compared to the corporate stuffed polo shirts we see walking around on the regular tour. With very few exceptions, the entertainment value for most of us watching these players is way better, yet the awesome length and sparkle of the sheer skills seen on the regular tour keeps us watching. If only they had some personality!

Last time they played, Nicklaus and Watson won nine of the first 10 skins and held off defending champions Crenshaw and Zoeller who were stalking the duo up until the very end. The two collected 10 skins overall and took away $350,000 in cold hard cash (The players will donate 10 percent of their earnings to a charity of their choice.). Crenshaw and Zoeller finished second with five skins and $230,000.

This marks the fourth year Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association will host the event at Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course. The competition is presented by Administaff, Time Warner Cable and Fuzzy’s Vodka.
In the Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game format, each hole becomes a tournament within itself and the prize money is carried over if no team wins the hole outright.

“We’re expecting Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson to work diligently to defend their title from 2010,” said Shelley Kekuna, Executive Director, Kaanapali Beach Resort Association. “And you can only imagine the “game on” attitude that teammates Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw will posses as they work on regaining their winning form. We’re also delighted to have Nick Price and Freddie Couples returning for a second year to excite the gallery. The event is open to the public and admission is complimentary. Keep checking www.kaanapaliresort.com for any updates.”

Related Posts

Leave a Comment