Raymond Floyd, who didn’t earn a cent the first day of the Senior Skins, made up for it Sunday, winning $240,000 and the tournament title.
Two-time defending champion Arnold Palmer finished second with $115,000 in earnings, including $70,000 on the final day.
Lee Trevino, the first-day leader with $80,000, failed to win a hole on the second. Jack Nicklaus, after winning $15,000 on the first hole of the tournament, was shut out the rest of the way in the match of golf Hall of Famers.
Floyd, at 51 the youngest of the foursome, earned the final $70,000 when he birdied the fourth sudden-death hole after the 17th and 18th holes of regulation were tied. Only he and Nicklaus remained in the competition at the fourth extra hole, and Nicklaus barely missed a long birdie try, leaving Floyd a tap-in to win.
“There were an awful lot of birdies out there,” said Floyd, who birdied each of the four playoff holes. “I think this was probably one of the best Skins Games ever, by anybody.
“It was really exciting for me to be shut out yesterday then come back and play the quality of golf I played today. I shot a 31 on the front nine (Saturday), birdied four in a row in regulation today, then birdied all the extra holes.”
The longest hitter in the foursome and putting extremely well, Floyd won $100,000 on the third hole Sunday, No. 12, then added $70,000 with his fourth birdie in a row, on No. 14.
Palmer saw his chance to win the Senior Skins for a third consecutive year end when his second shot on the first playoff hole, the par-five 10th, rolled over a cart path and nestled against lava rock. After a favorable drop, a poor chip took him out of the hole. Each of the other three players birdied the hole and continued to play. Trevino then dropped out with a par on the third extra hole.
“I feel like I played a little better than I had been, but it certainly was disappointing not to be out there going for the title again,” Palmer said. “If you didn’t make a birdie out there, you just weren’t in the game; that was the atmosphere.”
Said Trevino: “The way Raymond was making birdies, it was pretty tough to top that.”