Indio, Calif. — With one big birdie putt and one routine par, Greg Norman managed to recapture a bit of his old magic in the Skins Game. He played well, entertained fans and earned a cool $1 million.
Perhaps more importantly, he beat Tiger Woods.
Sure, it may have been a made-for-television event and only lasted 18 holes. But it brought back memories of times when the 46-year-old Norman dominated.
"It's not that you want Tiger's scalp on the mantel," Norman said. "It's just that he's the best player in the world and you want to beat the best player in the world. I know that feeling well."
Norman's birdie putt on the 17th hole put him in position to be the big winner in the annual Thanksgiving weekend event, and he followed it with a two-putt par on the 18th hole to win his first $800,000.
Two extra holes later, he pocketed another $200,000, and sent Woods, Colin Montgomerie and Jesper Parnevik home empty-handed.
"Any win is a great win, whether it's a Skins Game or a regular tournament," said Norman, whose last win came in the 1998 Greg Norman Holden International in Australia.
"It's very satisfying to do it. Whenever you beat the caliber of players like that, it's good."
Norman took $730,000 out of Parnevik's pocket with his 10-footer for birdie on 17, and added a birdie on the second playoff hole to sweep all the money.
It was both the biggest single-hole payout and the biggest overall win in the 19-year history of the Skins Game.
Norman, after making a birdie on the 17th hole to win all the previous skins, needed only to par the 18th to become the big winner. That was because a new rule forced a player to at least tie for low score on the next hole after winning a skin.
He did it with a sand shot and two putts that allowed him to cash in 17 skins worth $800,000.
"I've never had to make a par for $800,000 in my life," Norman said. "It was hard trying to figure it out."
Norman's birdie putt on 17 took away the $730,000 worth of skins Parnevik could have won if he had tied for low score on the hole.