Hale Irwin is playing such good golf that no one else stood a chance.
Irwin eagled the par-5 third hole and delivered what had been expected Sunday when he reeled off an easy victory that enabled him to retain his title at the PGA Seniors’ Championship at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Irwin won by 12 strokes and became the first golfer since Sam Snead in 1972 and 1973 to win this major in consecutive years.
“That eagle at No. 3 probably took away what glimmer of hope there was left for the other players,” Irwin said. “I would have hated to have been trying to catch me today. I played exceptionally well from tee to green and didn’t let my trouble on the greens affect the rest of my game.
“As I said yesterday, it was my tournament to win or lose and, fortunately, the former happened.”
Irwin holed a 20-foot sand shot from in front of the green for his eagle and finished with 5-under-par 68 for a 274 total on the Champion course at the PGA National Golf Club. For the day, he had three birdies and a bogey.
Jack Nicklaus and Dale Douglass shared the runner-up spot at 286 in the 58th edition of the event. Nicklaus, who redesigned this course after the 1989 PGA Seniors and won the title in 1991, birdied the final hole for a 70.
Tied at 287 were Jack Kiefer (70), Gibby Gilbert (71) and John Morgan (72).
Nick Price, the world’s best golfer three years ago, showed he was capable of championship golf again by leading all four rounds of the MCI Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C., for his first tour title since 1994.
Price started Sunday’s round up two shots, watched playing partner Brad Faxon cut it to one, then ripped off radar-like irons and putts to finish at 15-under 269. Faxon, who won the Freeport-McDermott title two weeks ago, was tied for second with Jesper Parnevik at 9-under.
Tom Lehman began three strokes back of Price, but had bogeys on three of the first four holes to fall from contention. He finished tied for fourth with Lennie Clements and Hal Sutton. Lehman will become the world’s top-ranked golfer when the new rankings come out today.
Karrie Webb rattled off six consecutive birdies on the way to her second straight 6-under-par 66 and a three-shot victory in the $500,000 Susan G. Komen International at Murrells Inlet, S.C.
Webb had birdies at Nos. 11 through 16 of the Wachesaw East Golf Club to overtake third-round co-leaders Cathy Johnston-Forbes and Nanci Bowen.
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