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Nicklaus, Palmer, Stadler, Watson set to compete in 2005 Wendy's Champions Skins Game at Wailea

28th November, 2004
WAILEA, Maui – 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 also play in the $600,000 event which will be played on Wailea Resort’s championship Gold Course on Saturday, Feb. 5, it was announced today.

ABC-TV will televise the Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME on Saturday, Feb. 5 from
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., ET, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PT, and Sunday, Feb. 6 from
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 a.m. – Noon, PT. (Times vary in different areas, check your local listings).

“We are 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.”

“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 supports charity.”

“The 2004 Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME was one of the most exciting of all time, with Arnold Palmer coming close to winning it,” said Barry Frank, vice chairman of Trans World International (TWI). “With the field we have assembled, I think there is a great chance to have another great finish in 2005.”

Wailea Resort is the host of the event for the fifth time, following 11 years at Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii. The inaugural match was played in 1988 at Turtle Bay Golf Club on Oahu, and the second in 1989 at the Mountain Course at the La Quinta Hotel Golf Club in La Quinta, CA.

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 win it 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 cost me.”

Watson won it with a par on the third extra hole which was worth five skins and $260,000. It gave him a winning total of 10 skins and $400,000. Palmer was second with five skins and $140,000, Nicklaus was third with three skins and $60,000 and defending champion Lee Trevino was blanked.

Watson will be playing in the Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME for the third time. Beside his victory, he finished second in his other appearance in 2000. A member of the original SKINS GAME field in 1983, along with Nicklaus, Palmer and Gary Player, Watson played in six SKINS GAMES, won it in 1994 and finished second three times (1984, 1985 and 1996).

Watson was a 39-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including eight major championships (five British Opens, two Masters Tournaments and one U.S. Open). He joined the Champions Tour in 1999 and has six titles, including three major championships (2001 Senior PGA Championship, 2003 Senior British Open and 2003 JELD-WEN Tradition).

Palmer, who will be playing in his 17th Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME, is the owner of 97 career titles, including four Masters, two British Opens, one U.S. Open and one U.S. Amateur.
He didn’t play in 1997 because of prostate cancer. He won the Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME three times in the 1990s, most recently in 1993.

Palmer 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.

Nicklaus, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, will be playing in the Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME for the 15th time. The winner of an unprecedented 20 major championships, including six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens and two U.S. Amateurs, Nicklaus has won 113 tournaments worldwide.

Named Golfer of the Century by GOLF Magazine in 1988 and by Golf Monthly U.K., in 1996, Nicklaus won the 1991 Champions SKINS GAME. He is No. 1 on the all-time leader on the Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME money list ($1,665,000) and skins list (68) and second on the all-time combined Merrill Lynch SKINS/Wendy’s Champions SKINS money list ($2,315,000). A five-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year, the PGA TOUR and Champions TOUR Player of the Year honors now bear his name.

Stadler, a 13-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including the 1982 Masters Tournament, has already won eight times since joining the Champions Tour in the middle of the 2003 season. Two of his victories have been in major championships – the 2003 Ford Senior Players Championship and the 2004 JELD-EEN Tradition – and five of his victories have come this year. He was the 2003 Champions Tour Rookie of the Year despite playing only half a season. In his first full season, he won the money title with $2,306,066.

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.

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. The players will donate 20 percent of their winnings to the charity of their choice. 

The Wailea Gold Course 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 it opened in 1994, the course 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. 

About Wendy’s Restaurants
Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurants was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas and is the third largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain in the world, with more than 6,250 restaurants in the United States, Canada and international markets.

About ESPN Regional Television
ESPN Regional Television (ERT) is the nation’s largest producer and distributor of collegiate sports programming, producing more than 550 sporting events per year. In addition to event sponsorship, ERT produces 400 events for national, regional and local networks, serves as the exclusive syndication rights-holder for college conferences (Big 12, Big Ten, BIG EAST, Conference USA, Mountain West and WAC) and exclusive marketing rights-holder for select schools (Kansas, Oregon, UNLV, TCU, UAB, South Florida and Iowa State). In recent years, ESPN, Inc. has created or acquired events it owns, markets and televises to increase its value to advertisers and affiliates. 

About Wailea
The Wailea Gold Course is one of three award-winning layouts at the Wailea Golf Club on Maui. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the Gold has received numerous accolades, including being named one of the best designed golf courses in the world.

The 2005 Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME is also sponsored by Destination Resorts Hawaii, Diamond Resort, The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Four Seasons Resort Maui, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Maui Visitors Bureau, Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, The Shops at Wailea, Wailea Golf LLC, and the Wailea Marriott.

For general information about the 2005 Wendy’s Champions SKINS GAME at Wailea,
Please call 1-888-328-MAUI (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada), 1-808-875-7450.

Contact:
Toby Zwikel/Fred Robledo
Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.
818.344.6195