Just as he did in the 1990 Senior U.S. Open, Lee Trevino called the shot that made him the big winner Saturday over the first nine holes of the Senior Skins Game.
Trevino had a 15-foot birdie putt in the cup and was watching Jack Nicklaus, hunkered over a 12-footer to tie him, on the 7th hole at the Mauna Lani Resort."For the last three years, maybe four," Trevino told Arnold Palmer at the side of the green, "every time I've made a birdie, he's made a putt to tie me. . . . He's got to miss sooner or later. He can't keep tying me forever."
Nicklaus' putt slipped by on the low side and, with carryovers from five previous holes, Trevino won six skins and $100,000.
"I got a gift from Jack and Chi Chi (Rodriguez) when they missed those birdie putts on the fifth hole," Trevino said. "That let me hang in there, then I shook that one in on the seventh."
Last year, Trevino correctly predicted that Nicklaus would miss a 3-foot birdie putt that opened the door for Trevino to win the Senior U.S. Open.
On Saturday, Trevino got some help from Gary Player on the final hole of the day.
Trevino hit an 8-iron to 12-15 feet and made the birdie putt. Player needed only a 6-footer to tie him and force the carryover of the $25,000 prize, but he missed and Trevino boosted his first-day's earning to $125,000 with a total of seven skins.
Ten percent of the amount is earmarked for charity. Trevino, who usually makes his contributions to junior golf, said he will change the beneficiary this year.
"Because of the conflict in the gulf, I'm going to give it to the USO," the former Marine said.
Nicklaus won one skin and $25,000. Palmer, the defending champion and the oldest man in the group at 61, dropped a 25-foot birdie putt for a first-hole birdie worth $15,000.
Rodriguez and Player were shut out.
At Scottsdale, Ariz., Michigan native Nolan Henke fired a 5-under-par 66 to grab a four-stroke lead Saturday going into the final round of the $1 million Phoenix Open.
Henke, 26, was tied for the lead with PGA veteran Curtis Strange after two rounds. Henke has fired rounds of 65, 66 and 67 for a 54-hole total of 16-under 197.
Robert Wrenn and Fred Funk were tied for second with 12-under-par 201s. Strange, who shot a 71 Saturday, and Bob Tway, were tied for fourth at 202.
Henke, who lives in Fort Myers, Fla., said he's putting well and likes the course because it rewards the aggressive player.
"You can birdie just about any hole here if you concentrate," said Henke, who had eight birdies and two bogeys on the 6,922-yard Tournament Players Club course.