Norman stays cool to win $1m

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The Independent Online

Greg Norman had all the odds in his favour as he stood over a bunker shot next to the 18th green yesterday at the Skins Game. No one had won a thing yet, but Norman was about to earn a bundle. The only question was how big that bundle would be.

Norman ended up making it a cool $1 m (£690,000), making a routine par on the 18th hole and adding a birdie on the second extra hole to sweep all the money. Norman's win in a new format made him the biggest winner in the 19-year history of the event. It also made losers out of Tiger Woods, Jesper Parnevik and Colin Montgomerie, who all went home empty-handed.

"Any win is a great win, whether it's a Skins Game or a regular tournament," Norman said. "It's very satisfying to do it. Whenever you beat the caliber of players like that, it's good."

Norman, after making a birdie on the 17th hole to win all the previous skins, needed only to par the 18th to become the big winner. That was because a new rule forced a player to at least tie for low score on the next hole after winning a skin.

He did it with a conservative sand shot and two putts that allowed him to cash in 17 skins worth $800,000. Still at stake, though, was the $200,000 skin from the 18th hole, which Norman added for good measure on a 5ft putt for birdie on the second play-off hole.

"I've never had to make a par for $800,000 in my life," Norman said. "It was hard trying to figure it out."

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