Hale Irwin - U.S.A. - 1990 onwards. Surprise third US Open triumph in 1990

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 22 July 1990

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Hale IRWIN - U.S.A. - 1990 onwards. Surprise third US Open triumph in 1990

 To say that Hale Irwin's victory at the 1990 US Open was a surprise would be something of an understatement. As he was by now 45 years of age,and had not won on the US Tour for five years,it was the most unlikely of successes. Irwin's fine closing round of 67 was sufficient to leave him tied with fellow American Mike Donald at eight under par. He had forced the play-off by producing a quite incredible putt from some fifty feet for birdie at the last hole and thereafter followed one of the most amazing celebrations one could ever wish to see. The ecstatic Irwin set off an a high pace lap of honour that belied his advancing years and swapped high fives with seemingly each and everyone of the delirious crowd as he went on his merry way - extraordinary!


The job was not complete of course and the players returned the following day with Irwin finally grabbing victory at the first sudden death hole thanks to his ten foot birdie putt. Hale returned to Ryder Cup action at Kiawah Island in 1991 and what a return it proved to be. After gathering two points from a possible three in the first two days the whole match rested on his final day singles clash with Bernhard Langer. In an incredibly tense finish the game reached the final green where Langer had a six foot putt to retain the cup for Europe. The putt slipped by the right side of the cup,the match was halved and Irwin was the hero of the hour as the Americans celebrated a 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory. Hale was to win just once more on the full Tour with his victory at the 1994 MCI Heritage Golf Classic and he is now a highly successful campaigner on the Seniors Tour. (David Scranage)