Nick Faldo, benefiting from a missed eight-foot putt by Jack Nicklaus, set the first-day pace yesterday with $70,000 in winnings in the Skins Game in La Quinta, Calif.
Curtis Strange was next with $65,000, including skins on the first and last holes of the day, and Greg Norman won $30,000 with a 45-foot birdie putt. Nicklaus had a terrible day and was shut out.
This made-for-TV event forces players to hit shots they normally wouldn't try.
"You know pars won't do it. You have to make birdies, so you take some chances you usually wouldn't even think about," Strange said.
Nicklaus hit three drives out of play, two into the water and another into an unplayable lie. He hit a pair of 3-wood shots far, far left, one when he set up to play to the right and double-crossed himself.
"I don't think golf has been his number one priority for a while," Norman said.
Nicklaus just went to the practice tee in search of something that might enable him to avoid embarassment over today's final nine.
"I can't recall ever playing a worse nine holes of golf," he said. ". . . I can assure you I won't play quite that bad tomorrow. I don't see how I could."
Another $285,000 will be up for play. That includes $25,000 on the 10th through 12th holes, and $35,000 on the last six. If two or more players tie on a hole, the money is carried forward.
Strange won $15,000 with his 15-foot birdie putt on hole No. 1. There was a $25,000 carryover going to No. 9, and he collected $50,000 with his five-foot putt.
Norman, making his first appearance in this event, also had a $15,000 carryover for his only win, with a 45-foot birdie putt on No. 3.
Faldo, the Masters and British Open winner and another Skins Game rookie, coaxed home a triple-breaking, 18-foot putt on the fourth hole and won $15,000 when Nicklaus failed on an eight-footer to tie.
The fifth and sixth holes at the Stadium course at PGA West were halved in pars, setting up a $55,000 value for the par-4 seventh.
Nicklaus and Strange drove into the water, leaving the field to Faldo and Norman. Each hit a wedge second shot, Norman to six feet and Faldo to about eight. Faldo made his putt and became a winner when Norman's try did a 360-degree circle of the cup and came to rest on the front lip.
World Cup: Bernhard Langer shot 3-under-par 69 and Torsten Giedeon 72 to lift Germany to its first title in the multinational event in Orlando, Fla. The Germans finished at 20-under 556, three shots better than England and Ireland, which tied for second place.
Richard Boxall and Mark James, seeking England's first title, led after each of the first three rounds at Grand Cypress Resort, but Boxall closed with a 73 and James a 72. David Feherty shot a final-round 63 as he and Ronan Rafferty gave Ireland its best finish since 1958.
Payne Stewart of the United States won the International Trophy and $75,000 for best individual score. He shot a closing 66 for a 271 total but partner Jodie Mudd struggled to 77 -- 291 and they placed fifth in the 32-team competition.
World Open: Mike Reid posted 7-under-par 65, his best score of the year, and took a two-shot lead at 204 heading into the final round of the $923,000 tournament at the Ibusuki club in Kaimoncho, Japan.
Seniors: Shigeru Uchida, the home course pro, took a one-shot lead in the Imperial Wing tournament by logging 4-under-par 68 for a 139 total in Seki, Japan.