Boone Valley Classic
Boone Valley Classic
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Irwin wins again near home

In most sports being at home is a big plus. Hale Irwin doesn't fell that way even though he won again near where he lives.

Irwin shot a 6-under-par 66 today to win the Boone Valley Classic by two shots, his second victory in three years in the tournament played about 40 miles from his home.

"It's not that easy to come back to your hometown," Irwin said. "Other than two years ago, I really have not played fantastically well in areas where I've lived or that I'm familiar with.''

Irwin had six birdies in his closing round, hitting 17 greens in regulation.

"I'm hitting the ball so extraordinarily well that it seemed like on every hole I had a birdie opportunity,'' he said. "I didn't want to get into a position where I was trying to scramble for pars."

Irwin, who has won two of his last three starts on the Senior PGA Tour, started the day two strokes behind second-round leader Bruce Summerhays and one behind five others.

He birdied three straight holes to take the lead going to the back nine and he took it for good with a birdie on the par-3 12th. He finished with a 54-hole total of 13-under 203 at the 6,731-yard Boone Valley Golf Club course.

Al Geiberger, who started the day tied with Irwin in sixth place, shot a 68 and finished second at 205.

Geiberger, playing in the same group as Irwin, had birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. But Irwin also birdied the par-3 16th to stay ahead.

"I hit a really great shot at 16 and he hit it inside me," Irwin said. "And he came close to chipping it in on 17 which would have really tightened things up."

Geiberger, who bogeyed 16 Saturday, said he was thinking about that as he stood over his tee shot today.

``I hit the same 5-wood today I hit Saturday but the result was a lot better this time,'' Geiberger said.

Kermit Zarley, who had a hole-in-one in a round of 70, was third at 206.

Irwin, who won here in 1997, was tied for the lead with Jim Dent and Dana Quigley after nine holes. Quigley bogeyed Nos. 10-12 to fall out of the tie with Irwin and Dent was gone when he bogeyed Nos. 15 and 16.

Irwin earned $210,000 for the win to bring his total for the year to $656,860 and more than $14.1 million in his career.

Zarley's hole-in-one on the 177-yard 3rd with a 5-iron gave him the lead briefly. He was no longer in contention when he bogeyed the par-3 16th as Irwin birdied the 233-yard hole.

Irwin's only other victory this season was the Nationwide Championship. He has 22 victories since joining the Senior Tour in 1995.

Summerhays shot a 1-over 73 and finished at 208.