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Woods chips in to win Memorial Skins Game

June 3, 2009

The last two nights, I haven’t been able to watch a lot of sporting events live while I’ve been at the Duck Pond covering the Madison Mallards for The Badger Herald. In fact, my only exposure to anything non-Northwoods League has been SportsCenter in the office while posting stories.
Today, however, I was fortunate enough to catch the Memorial Skins Game live on the Golf Channel this afternoon. And it didn’t disappoint either.
Two foursomes teed it up on the back nine at Muirfield Village today, but the one everyone was buzzing about was the second group, which featured Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus going head-to-head for just the second time ever.
Nicklaus and Woods stole the show as they won the 11th and 13th holes, respectively, giving them two skins apiece. Cink took the 14th hole, putting him just one behind the two leaders. The next four holes, however, went off without anyone winning a skin.
So they had a closest to the pin chip-off, with the winner getting four skins and will be the winner of the group. Stewart Cink went first, hitting his chip within about five feet.
Next up was Woods. His shot is guaranteed to be shown about 100 times tonight on ESPN. With the Skins Game on the line, Woods stepped up and chipped in. Nicklaus couldn’t match him, so it was up to Kenny Perry. He lined it up well and had enough speed, but it just burned the outside edge and rolled past the hole.
Woods, as usual, shines under pressure in the big moment.
But the best part about the Skins Game wasn’t really the shot by Woods, it was the chance to listen in to the conversation between the players and see the way they interact with each other outside the confines of a typical PGA TOUR event.
“Can you even let us have one day in the sun?” remarked one of the other players in the group after the crowd erupted following Woods’ chip-in.
He certainly has a knack for the big moment, and though the audience wasn’t that of a major this afternoon, his peers were watching and he couldn’t show any weakness regardless of the prize.
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