SPORTING DIGEST: GOLF

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The Independent Online
SPORTING DIGEST: GOLF

Fred Couples, a replacement for Payne Stewart who was killed in a plane crash last month, led after the first nine holes of the 1999 Skins Game at the Landmark Golf Club yesterday. Couples won the first hole and later sank a 12-foot birdie putt worth $100,000 (pounds 60,000) on the par-4 fifth hole to finish with five skins and $125,000 after the first day of the two-day event. "I wish he was here," said Couples of Stewart.

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