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The Skins Game began in 1983 and in 2009 it appears to be in jeopardy. It looks like the economy is to blame once again as the Thanksgiving weekend tradition is being postponed. According to the event partners, ESPN, IMG Media and the City of Indian Wells, the event is planning on returning in 2010.
“The Skins Game has enjoyed a long and successful history, and it will continue to be an important part of golf’s fall season in the future, but given the current economic climate, postponing the 2009 event was necessary,” said Barry Frank, Executive Vice President, IMG Media. “We look forward to working with key partners over the coming months to ensure the Skins Game comes back next year in a manner befitting one of golf’s great traditions.”
What began with some of the game’s greatest legends – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson – going head to head for an unprecedented prize money at the time has morphed to last year’s event that saw K.J. Choi earn six skins for $415,000 in his first time in the event to take the title over Stephen Ames, who was looking for his third straight victory. Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate also participated. No disrespect to any of these players but only one appears to be headed one day to the Hall of Fame to join the forefathers who helped to sell this event in its infancy. Sadly the dollar amount no longer holds the same cache as it once did either, especially when you compare it to the annual earnings of the game’s best players.
“The Skins Game has been an important fixture in Southern California for the past 25 years, and not only have fans here looked forward to it each year, but also the golf fans across the country watching on television,” said Greg Johnson, Indian Wells City Manager. “The Skins Game offers great golf and great entertainment.”
It remains to be seen whether the event can get a make over to remain current with the times, which in turn it could be said the latest decision does indeed reflects 2009.