Erratic Couples wins big money

Fred Couples, playing in place of his friend, the late Payne Stewart, sprayed shots all over the course but sank two key putts on Saturday to win $125,000 on the first day of the American golf Skins Game in Indio, California.

Fred Couples, playing in place of his friend, the late Payne Stewart, sprayed shots all over the course but sank two key putts on Saturday to win $125,000 on the first day of the American golf Skins Game in Indio, California.

Couples, who already ranked as the event's career leading money-winner with $1.3 million, added to his Skins Game bankroll by making a 1-meter (3-foot) birdie putt for $25,000 on the first hole.

After there was no outright winner on the second, third and fourth holes, Couples rolled in a 3 1-2-meter (12-foot) putt for a birdie worth $100,000 on No 5, giving him five "skins" for the day.

Couples, called on to replace for Stewart after he died in an airplane accident Oct. 25, is donating 30 percent of the money he earns in the tournament to the Payne Stewart Memorial Fund.

Sergio Garcia of Spain, at 19 the youngest player ever in the Skins Game, came up with the shot of the day, chipping in from 35 meters at No 8 for an eagle and $50,000.

To cheers from the gallery, Garcia skipped gleefully across the green after the ball bounced a couple of times and disappeared into the hole.

Mark O'Meara, last year's champion with $430,000, won $75,000 with a routine par on No 7, when David Duval, struggling all day, missed a 1-meter (4-foot) putt that would have halved the hole.

Duval, shut out in his Skins Game debut a year ago, also failed to win any holes on the first day this time.

Most of the money - $750,000 - from the $1 million purse will be at stake for Sunday's second nine holes of the 18-hole competition. That includes a $50,000 carryover from the ninth hole, for which there was no outright winner, and the $200,000 "super skin" on No 18.

Couples spent some time in the rocks and sand alongside the fairways at the Landmark Golf Club, a desert course that was completed less than a month ago. But he made up for his poor drives with his short game.

Garcia played the steadiest nine holes of the foursome, just missing two long birdie putts that would have won him skins early in the day.

In the Skins format, there is prize money at stake on each hole. A player wins the money if he wins the hole (the "skin") outright. But if two or more players share the low score on a hole, the money is carried over to the next hole, with the pot building until one player wins a hole outfright.

The first six holes of the Skins Game were worth $25,000 each, with the next six worth $50,000 each, and Nos 13 through 17 worth $70,000 each, leading up to the $200,000 No 18.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine