KAANAPALI, Hawaii (AP) — Bernhard Langer made an 8-foot birdie putt on the sixth hole for four skins and $120,000, giving the German star and partner Mark O’Meara the lead Saturday in the Champions Skins Game.
Langer and O’Meara are making their first appearances in the in the alternate-shot event.
O’Meara set up Langer’s birdie putt with a 64-yard wedge shot on the 362-yard, par-4 sixth.
“First of all, Mark hit a beautiful shot and we were the closest to the hole and he hit it in the right spot, too,” Langer said. “I was going uphill, more so than across or side. We read it perfectly right on the left edge. That was a good putt.”
Fuzzy Zoeller and Ben Crenshaw, the 2009 winners, were second with $80,000 after the first nine holes in the two-day, 18-hole event. Zoeller made a bending 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 eighth for two skins.
“It was fast,” Zoeller said. “We kept looking at it and I kept saying, ‘It has to go farther up, farther up.'”
Crenshaw said: “I kind of mentioned the word speed to take the break to him there. But it was the most beautiful putt. At first I thought it was low and then I saw it and said, ‘Whoa, that looks good.'”
Defending champions Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson won the first two skins when Nicklaus hit his iron shot to 2 feet on No. 2 and Watson tapped in for $60,000.
“I think Bernhard and I both were pleased to get on the board,” O’Meara said. “But in saying that, Jack hit the shot early in the round on No. 2, it was an amazing golf shot. We kind of beat it around for two or three holes, nothing that great. Had some chances there on No. 5, everybody hit some good putts and didn’t make it.”
Fred Couples and Nick Price were shut out on the first nine at Royal Kaanapali.
With a $40,000 carryover from No. 9, $510,000 was available on the back nine Sunday.