Your clients who love the links can witness four golf legends
teeing off in a traditional event this winter on Maui’s warm, sunny
shore. Craig Stadler will make his debut and Tom Watson will defend
his title in the 18th edition of the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game.
Golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer will join the duo in
the $600,000 competition, which will be held at Wailea Resort’s
championship Gold Course on Saturday, Feb. 5.
Wailea Resort will host the event for the fifth time, following
11 years at Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii. The inaugural
Skins match was played in 1988 at Turtle Bay Golf Club on Oahu, and
the second in 1989 at La Quinta Hotel Golf Club in La Quinta,
The Wailea Gold is the most challenging of Wailea Golf Club’s
trio of courses. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 7,078-yard
Gold has been lauded by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s
best designed golf courses. Since opening in 1994, it has earned
honors as one of the country’s 10 best new resort courses by both
Golf Magazine and Golf Digest, as well as received a historic
preservation award from the Maui Historical Society.
In the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game, each hole is a tournament
within itself, with the prize money carried over if no player wins
a hole outright. The $600,000 total purse is broken down to $20,000
for each of the first six holes, $30,000 for each of the middle six
holes, $40,000 each for holes 13 through 17 and $100,000 for the
18th hole. Players will donate 20 percent of their winnings to the
charity of their choice.
ESPN, Wendy’s and Trans World International (TWI), all major
players in event organization and coverage, are pleased with 2005’s
“all star” roster. Each of these pros comes into the Skins
competition with an impressive golf resume. Wailea organizers feel
that it’s the type of line-up that appeals to sports fans in
general, regardless of whether they actually play golf.
“We’re very excited to have Craig Stadler in the field,” said
Chuck Gerber, executive vice president and general manager of ESPN
Regional Television, Inc. “Craig has had a great year and deserves
to be in the field with Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson.”
Nicknamed “The Walrus,” Stadler is one of golf’s most colorful
and popular personalities. He made history when he became the first
Champions Tour player to win a PGA Tour event, a one-stroke victory
in the B.C. Open last year.
As the major sponsor, Wendy’s is pleased with the competitors
and venue. “It is a super field and an exciting format in a
beautiful setting,” said Tom Mueller, Wendy’s president and chief
operating officer. “We’re delighted to be associated with this
event, which not only features terrific competition, but also
Barry Frank, vice chairman of Trans World International (TWI),
agrees that the foursome should make for a very competitive
“The 2004 Wendy’s Champions Skins Game was one of the most
exciting of all time, with Arnold Palmer coming close to winning
it,” Frank said. “With the field we have assembled, I think there
is a great chance to have another great finish in 2005.”
Watson won the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game for the first time
in 2004, thwarting Palmer’s bid to win it for the fourth time and
pick up his first title since 1993. Palmer, who made five birdies
during a seven-hole stretch, had a chance to clinch victory on the
final hole, but missed a seven-foot putt.
“It was just a little indecision in my mind,” Palmer said. “I
was a little undecided as to what the putt was going to do and it
While he failed at his bid last year, Palmer still has claimed
an ample share of the Skins pie. He is fourth on the Wendy’s
Champions Skins Game all-time money list with $1,205,000, third in
Skins won with 45 and fifth on the combined Merrill Lynch
Skins/Wendy’s Champions Skins earnings list with $1,450,000.
The 2005 Wendy’s Champions Skins Game is also sponsored by a
number of Wailea hotels, resorts and vacation condominiums. Refer
to individual Web sites for rates and special packages available at
Wailea properties during the event: Destination Resorts Hawaii
(www.drhmaui.com), Diamond Resort (www.diamondresort.com), The
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui (www.fairmont.com/kealani/), Four Seasons
Resort Maui (www.fourseasons.com/maui/), Grand Wailea Resort Hotel
& Spa (www.grandwailea.com), Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort
(www.marriott.com) and the Wailea Marriott (www.marriott.com).
Other Skins event sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority,
Maui Visitors Bureau, The Shops at Wailea and Wailea Golf LLC.
Tickets for the Wendy’s Champions Skins Game are $20 for adults,
with children 12 and under admitted free with accompanying ticketed
adult. Tickets will be available at various ticket outlets on the
island of Maui, including the Wailea Golf Club pro shops, or