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Watered down "Skin" still a betting option

Nov 25, 2008 7:55 PM
by Mark Mayer | Technically the pro golf season is over from a Tour standpoint. However, the fun events live on including an old friend the "Skins Game." The event was created by ABC television as a four-man competition with money awarded for winning a hole and carryovers that could amount to seven figures.

In the past legends like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Tom Watson and later Tiger Woods would vie for the big bucks in a four-man shootout over two days. Fred Couples is the all-time Skins champ with five victories, while Stephen Ames has won it the past two years. Ames returns to seek a three-peat but as an underdog to the 7-4 favorite Phil Mickelson.

Ames and K.J. Choi are next on the Las Vegas Hilton board at 5-2, while United States Open runnerup Rocco Mediate is the longshot at 4-1. While the event doesn’t have the attraction of Woods or any of the "major" championship winners for 2008, it is often good television. The venue this year is the plush Celebrity Course at Indian Wells, California.

There is another betting option for golf fanciers this weekend at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China. The four-day competition features two-man teams representing 28 nations. Sweden at 7-2 is the favorite featuring Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson. England is 9-2 with British Open runnerup Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher. Ireland and Denmark are rated 10-1, while Germany, Spain and the United States are all 12-1. Ben Curtis and Brandt Snedeker are playing for the U.S.

Other contenders figure to be South Africa (15-1), India (15-1), Thailand (15-1) and the Colin Montgomerie-led duo from Scotland (20-1). The longest shots on the Hilton board are Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela each at 500-1.