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For Arnie, It Was a Glimpse Into the Past : Golf: After a bad first day, Palmer rallies to win two holes, worth $205,000, in the Senior Skins.

January 27, 1992|From Associated Press

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii — Arnold Palmer staged one of his trademark charges Sunday to win two holes worth seven skins and $205,000 in the Senior Skins Game.

After playing poorly and being shut out the first day of the two-day tournament, Palmer stormed back to win $100,000 when he chipped in from the fringe on the 12th hole, then picked up another $105,000 with a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 15.

The total of $205,000 for Palmer, at 62 the oldest player in the Senior Skins, gave him the tournament title for 1992. He also won the Senior Skins in 1990, when he earned $240,000.

Chi Chi Rodriguez won $105,000 Sunday, $70,000 with a 40-foot putt for birdie on No. 17, and $35,000 with a five-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole after No. 18 was tied. He finished the tournament with $120,000.

Jack Nicklaus, the big winner last year with $310,000, was blanked over the final nine holes after winning $95,000 the first day. Lee Trevino, who also came up empty on Sunday, won $30,000 on Saturday.

"After the way I played Saturday, I was about as low as I've been in some time," Palmer said. "I practiced some after we played, went out and played most of the back nine, and I felt a little better starting today, felt looser.

"I think the putt I made at No. 10 to halve the skin with Chi Chi was a big putt for me. It's hard to get over that thing when you're not making putts, and that one did it for me.

"After that, I felt when I didn't birdie a hole, it was only because I had made a mistake. I felt like I should birdie every one."

Nicklaus smiled and said he felt almost like a spectator on Sunday, explaining: "When you shoot something like a 34 and don't win a skin . . . you just watch two guys play as well as Arnold and Chi Chi did and feel you weren't even really in the game."

Both Palmer's big money-winning shots came on par-three, 202-yard holes at the Mauna Lani Resort course.

Palmer, who seemed to straighten out problems with his irons that plagued him Saturday, hit his tee shot to within 15 feet of the pin on No. 15 after the two previous holes were tied.

Trevino, who was just outside Palmer, missed his putt, then Palmer hit the ball into the middle of the cup to earn $105,000.

Palmer's winning shot on the 12th hole was even more dramatic. He hit long and wound up on the back fringe, with Nicklaus and Rodriguez both on the green.

Palmer's chip from 45 feet, however, twisted down and into the hole and Nicklaus and Rodriguez missed their putts.

The 13th hole had been tied with routine pars, and Rodriguez and Trevino each had birdies on No. 14 to build the pot to $105,000 on the 15th.

Rodriguez also helped set the stage for Palmer's big payoff on No. 12. Rodriguez birdied No. 9 on Saturday to tie Nicklaus for the hole and carry that $25,000 over to the first hole on Sunday.

Rodriguez started the second day with another birdie, but Palmer matched him, building the pot to $75,000 on No. 11. When Palmer made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole, Rodriguez tied him, rolling in a 16-footer for his birdie.

That built the payoff on No. 12 to $100,000, and this time Rodriguez couldn't pull out a tie, missing from 10 feet after Palmer made his dramatic chip shot.

The $450,000 total purse was broken down to $15,000 for each of the first six holes, $25,000 each for the next six, then $35,000 each for the final six holes.

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