Hale Irwin claims title for 5th straight time
Hale Irwin became the first player to win a men's professional tour event five straight times Sunday, easily holding off Dana Quigley by five strokes in the Champions Tour's Turtle Bay Championship.
The 59-year-old Irwin closed with a 5-under 67 for a record 16-under 200 total.
With his fourth straight win at Turtle Bay and sixth overall title in the event, Irwin pushed his Tour-record victory total to 41.
The three-time U.S. Open champion had shared the mark of four straight victories in an event with Tiger Woods (Bay Hill Invitational, 2000-03), Gene Sarazen (Miami Open, 1926, 1928-30), Walter Hagen (PGA Championship, 1924-27) and Tom Morris Jr. (British Open, 1868-70, 1872).
With the trade wind kicking in, Irwin masterfully controlled the Turtle Bay Resort's balmy, oceanside Palmer Course, breaking his own tournament mark of 11-under 205 set in 2001. He earned $225,000.
The Hall of Famer, coming off a third-place tie last week in the season-opening MasterCard Championship on the Big Island, and has won eight official events in the islands dating to the PGA Tour 1981 Hawaiian Open, earning nearly $3.9 million.
Irwin took away any suspense early, carding five birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 31 and take a commanding six-stroke lead, leaving the rest of the field fighting for second place.
Quigley, the MasterCard winner, shot a 69.
Irwin, who began his streak with a victory at Kaanapali in 2000, played nearly flawless in the 54-hole event. He began the day with a two-stroke lead over Allen Doyle and shared the lead with three others after the opening round.
Irwin continued his torrid run on the back side by holing a long birdie putt on 416-yard 10th to reach 17 under. The putt curled left to right and paused at the edge of the cup for a split second and dropped in.
The gallery cheered wildly as Irwin exhaled deeply and raised his right arm.
Quigley and Doyle were tied for second at 11 under heading into the 54th hole. Quigley drove into the right-side trees, leaving a small opening. But Doyle (71) drove into the lake and bogeyed the hole to tie for third with Tom Watson (67).
Gary Player, 69, who briefly shared the lead in the opening round, finished with a 76 for a 216 total.
Newlywed Arnold Palmer shot an 80 to finish second to last at 23-over 239. He still smiled and received applause at nearly every green. He also stayed late every day to sign hundreds of autographs.
"It's been a great two weeks with the exception of golf," said Palmer, 75, who married Kathleen Gawthrop in a beachside ceremony Wednesday.
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