Upstate News

February 14, 2001
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Golf great Arnold Palmer to participate in Upstate Medical University’s Third Annual Central New York Region Skins Game June 18

Arnold Palmer, one of the most popular and successful golfers of all time, will participate in Third Annual Skins Game to benefit SUNY Upstate Medical University, to be held Monday, June 18 at Lafayette Golf & Country Club in Jamesville.

Palmer will join current PGA Tour veterans Peter Jacobsen and Chip Beck. Negotiations are still under way to secure a fourth golfer.

“Arnold Palmer is one of the most popular figures not only in golf, but in all of sports,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president of development at SUNY Upstate and executive director Upstate Medical University Foundation at Syracuse Inc. “To have his participation in the Skins Game to benefit Upstate Medical University is a dream come true.”

Palmer’s talents as a golfer are well documented in the record books. He is fourth, behind Sam Snead, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus on the all-time PGA Tour victory list with 60. He and Nicklaus hold the record for most consecutive years (17) with at least one tour win. Last year, Palmer played in his 1,000th Tour event and his 46th Masters, putting him two shy of Doug Ford who holds the record with 48.

In addition to participating in Senior Tour events, Palmer maintains an active business schedule with golf course design, construction and development projects. In 1997, he underwent surgery for prostate cancer and has since spearheaded the Senior Tour For a Cure program, a national campaign to promote prostate cancer awareness.

On tour, Palmer is clearly one of the most popular golfers, often commanding the largest gallery. His throng of followers has been nicknamed “Arnie’s Army.”

Jacobsen owns six PGA Tour victories, including the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Buick Invitational of California, both of which he captured in 1995. Earlier this year, he fired a 64 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Jacobsen heads his own event management company and was the founder of “Jake Trout and the Flounders,” a musical group that featured Mark Lye, Larry Rinker and the late Payne Stewart.

Beck, a four-time PGA Tour winner, recorded the second 59 in PGA Tour history in the third round of the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational. His best year on the PGA Tour came in 1988 when he earned $916,818.

This year, organizers have selected Lafayette Golf & Country Club for the Skins Game. “It has always been our intent to bring the Central New York Region Skins Game to different venues in the area,” Pezzi said, “and this year we’re delighted to have the opportunity to play the event at Lafayette Golf & Country Club.”

Lafayette Golf & Country Club is no stranger to PGA Tour professionals. From 1985 to 1991, Lafayette hosted the MONY Syracuse Senior Classic, though Palmer did not participate in the event. Lafayette will play as a par 71 at 6,600 yards.

Individual tickets for the Skins Game will go on sale Monday, March 5 at all area P&C Food Stores for a reduced advanced sale price of $30. The reduced price is also available by calling Upstate Medical University Foundation at (315) 464-4416. Also new this year, tickets will be available through secure online ordering (beginning March 5) at (or through links at or for $35. Tickets purchased the day of the event will be $40. All general tickets will include free parking and free courtesy shuttle service to and from the parking area and golf course. A limited number of VIP tickets ($250) and corporate sponsorships are available by calling the Foundation at (315) 464-4416.

Proceeds from the Skins Game will go to support many of the fundraising activities of the Upstate Medical University Foundation, which supports patient care, education and research activities of the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

The previous Skins Games, held at Green Lakes State Park, attracted more than 10,000 people and raised nearly $300,000 for the Upstate Medical University Foundation at Syracuse Inc.

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