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Skins Game Tradition Continues

2006 LG Skins GameLA QUINTA, Calif. -- Fred Funk promises not to wear his pink skirt at the Skins Game this weekend. He doesn't completely rule out the possibility of a sports bra.
'I've been humiliating myself my whole life, so I continued that tradition last year,' Funk said. 'I'm trying to figure out what I can do to one-up myself from last year, but it will be difficult with the skirt thing.
'I've had some ideas, but I've just got to get them set up properly. We've been working on it for a couple months -- my caddie and me -- coming up with some ideas, but we've got to see what unfolds.'
Funk won the last 15 skins and a rookie-record $925,000 in the 2005 Skins Game. He's back to defend his title in a foursome that includes Fred Couples, also known as 'Mr. Skins;' big boomer John Daly and Stephen Ames, winner of The Players Championship in March.
The 50-year-old Funk took a lot of guff in last year's Skins Game, when he played with Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and Couples.
The 5-foot-8 Funk is known for accuracy -- as opposed to his distance -- off the tee. Woods needled him about it before the Skins began, saying he would never live it down if Sorenstam outdrove him. Funk went along with the theme, gleefully donning the skirt in the fairway on No. 3 and wearing it until he finished that hole.
At the end of the 18-hole, two-day tournament, Funk laughed all the way to the bank. He had won $225,000 by sinking a 28-foot eagle putt on the ninth and final hole of the first day, then collected $550,000 more with a tap-in for a birdie on No. 18 the second.
'He got it all. I felt like last year was going to be my last hurrah at this thing and going out with zero was a little disappointing,' said Couples, who was shut out last year but still ranks as king of the Skins with a record $3,515,000 and five wins in his 12 appearances.
Woods won three holes worth a total of $75,000 a year ago, and Sorenstam also was shut out.
The tournament, sponsored by LG Electronics, offers prize money, or skin, on each hole, with the pot building if there's a tie for the hole. Common among golfers good and bad, skins is a 'pals' game, where the players tend to joke and harass their playing partners, at least until the stakes get high.
'It's fun, but it is serious, especially the back nine on Sunday,' said Daly, who won a total of $120,000 in his two previous Skins Game appearances. 'The last few holes, if there's a big skin, we want to win, no doubt about it.
'But, then again, we want to heckle each other a little bit. I just don't want to tick any of these guys off. There's a fine line between how much you can heckle in this thing, and I just don't want to go overboard.'
Daly chuckled and added, 'And I'm not wearing a skirt, either.'
Ames, coming off a back injury and playing the event for the first time, said it was going to be a blast.
'I've always enjoyed playing these kinds of formats. The golf is serious. Obviously for these three it is. They've been here all week practicing,' he said, already in ribbing mode.
Couples looked at the other two, rolled his eyes and shook his head in mock chagrin.
The first six holes at Trilogy Golf Club will be worth $25,000 apiece; Nos. 7-12 $50,000 apiece; 13 through 17 are $70,000 each; and the final hole is a 'Super Skin' worth $200,000. Each player donates 20 percent of his earnings to charity.
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