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Hale Irwin claims Senior Slam victory

Hale Irwin shot his second straight bogey-free round to win the Senior Slam by two strokes over Tom Kite today.

Irwin, who shot a 4-under-par 68 Saturday, followed with a 5-under 67 today on the Our Lucaya Reef Course to win the 36-hole event and the first-prize check of $300,000.

"I hit the ball much better than I did on Saturday, and to play two days without a bogey is special,'' said Irwin, who won the U.S. Senior Open to qualify for the $600,000 tournament for the year's major champions.

First-round leader Tom Kite finished at 7-under-par 137 and earned $150,000. Doug Tewell, the PGA Seniors' Championship winner, finished in third place and won $100,000, while Ray Floyd, the Ford Senior Players Championship winner, was fourth and claimed $50,000.

Kite, the winner of The Tradition, held a one-stroke advantage at the start of today's final round. But Irwin posted three birdies on the first six holes to tie Kite at 7-under after six holes.

The two were tied for the lead heading to the eighth hole, but Kite had a bogey on eight and a double bogey on the ninth when his second shot went into the hazard and he had to take a drop.

Kite had opportunities to get close on the back nine after he birdied the 10th, but couldn't capitalize. He made a four-foot birdie putt at 13, but missed birdie putts on the next two holes that could have moved him into a tie.

"I was a little disappointed with how I played today,'' Kite said. "The key for my round was probably missing those two putts at 14 and 15. I hit both of them well.''

Kite climbed back within one shot following a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole, but Irwin answered with a 12-foot birdie at the closing hole to seal his second win at this event. He also won in 1997 in Los Cabos, Mexico.

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