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For Ames, first time the charm at Skins

Stephen Ames took the big bucks in his first Skins Game.

Ames made a 3-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole Sunday for $270,000, giving him the championship with $590,000.

"I forgot about the golf swing and just started playing golf," he said. "I made some nice putts and hit some good shots where I made some skins early on."

Five-time champion Fred Couples finished second with $385,000. John Daly won one skin worth $25,000.

Fred Funk, who won last year with $925,000, was shut out in his second trip to the Skins.

Couples and Funk were eliminated on the second playoff hole, when Ames and Daly each had birdies.

Couples, who was making his 13th appearance and is known as "King of the Skins," ran his career earnings in the event to $3.9-million. Although he didn't win this time, Couples played the best golf of the foursome, with 10 birdies and an eagle over 20 holes.

"Freddie should have won," Daly said. "No offense to Stephen, but Freddie played better than all three of us. Stephen just got it at the right time."

Skins players want to win the big-money holes as the pot builds up. Ames took eight skins. Couples won nine, for less money.

Funk played a few practical jokes, including replacing Daly's ball on the sixth green with a remote-control ball that lurched back and forth, then serving as Daly's caddy on the 11th tee, when he handed him a huge wedge and a child's 9-iron.

Ames, 42, the first touring pro from Trinidad and Tobago and now a Canadian citizen, made his Skins Game debut after winning this year's Players Championship.

AUSTRALIAN MASTERS: Justin Rose ended his four-year winless streak with 1-over 73 for a two-stroke victory in Melbourne, Australia. Rose survived triple bogey at the par-5 seventh hole and finished with 12-under 276 in his first win since the 2002 British Masters. "I can't believe it's been four years," he said. The event is co-sanctioned by the Australasian and European tours.

CASIO WORLD OPEN: Jeev Milkha Singh shot 4-under 68 to win in Kochi, Japan. Singh, who began the day tied for the lead with Tetsuya Haraguchi, made five birdies and a bogey for 16-under 272. Michelle Wie missed the cut Friday.

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