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Hale Irwin

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1999: Pocketed over $2 million in official money ($77,894 per start) for a third straight year, and became the first player in the history of the SENIOR TOUR to win five or more official tournaments three years in a row...Won all five of his events from early May until late August...During that four-month stretch, he was par/better in 34 of 37 rounds and had a scoring average of 68.51...Started the run with a dramatic victory at the Nationwide Championship...Holed a 74-yard wedge shot for an eagle on the final hole to break a tie with Bob Murphy...Win put him over the $8 million mark in SENIOR TOUR career earnings...Closed with a 66 to defeat Al Geiberger by two strokes at the Boone Valley Classic...Highlight of his year came at the FORD SENIOR PLAYERS Championship when he captured his fifth senior major despite a sore right rotator cuff...Used a final-round 65 to blow away the field by seven shots, the largest margin of victory ever at the TPC of Michigan...72-hole score of 21-under 267 also equalled Gil Morganís tournament record set in Dearborn in 1998...Rallied from an opening-round 73 to successfully defend his Ameritech Senior Open title by one stroke over Gary McCord, Bruce Fleisher and Raymond Floyd...Captured the Coldwell Banker Burnet Classic the next week in wire-to-wire fashion, defeating Jim Dent and Dale Douglass by two shots...Win in Minnesota moved him into solo second place on the all-time SENIOR TOUR wins list and the Burnet paycheck also made him the first to eclipse the $9 million mark in SENIOR TOUR career earnings...Set a SENIOR TOUR record for consecutive sub-70 rounds with 13 in a row (second round/Ameritech Senior Open thru second round/AT&T Canada Senior Open Championship)...Lost two other tournaments in playoffs...Was defeated by Tom McGinnis in overtime as he attempted to win a third straight BankBoston Classic title...Lost the next week to Jim Ahern, an open qualifier, at the AT&T Canada Senior Open near Montreal on the second extra hole...Started his season with a win at the Senior Skins Game, and teamed with Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus to lead the SENIOR TOUR to victory at the Wendyís Three-Tour Challenge...Voted SENIOR TOUR Player of the Month in May, July and August.1998: Voted the circuitís Player of the Year for the second straight season after seven victories, including two major championships, and a single-season earnings record of $2,861,945...In 22 starts, amazingly finished in the top five in all but two tournaments...Posted a record 18 consecutive top-five finishes before string ended at the Boone Valley Classic (T13)...Won his second consecutive Arnold Palmer Award as the circuitís leading money-winner and averaged $130,088 per start...Also garnered his third straight Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average (68.59), breaking Lee Trevinoís all-time mark of 68.89 set in 1990...Each of his seven victories was significant...Fired a course-record 62 in the final round of the Toshiba Senior Classic to come from five strokes back and over take Hubert Green for the title...Won his third consecutive PGA Seniorsí Championship, matching Eddie Williamsí mark for consecutive wins in the event (1942, 1945, 1946)...Successfully defended his title the next week at the Las Vegas Senior Classic...Fourth title of the campaign came in wire-to-wire fashion at the Ameritech Senior Open, his second senior victory in Chicago...Despite an opening-round 77, made birdie on the 72nd hole to nip Vicente Fernandez at the U.S. Senior Open at Riviera CC...Became just the 10th player to claim a PGA TOUR and SENIOR TOUR event at the same venue...First-round score was also the highest ever by a winner in SENIOR TOUR annals...Sixth victory at the BankBoston Classic was another successful title defense...Closed out the year with a five-stroke victory at the Energizer SENIOR TOUR Championship in Myrtle Beach...Also won a second straight Cadillac Series...Broke his own mark for fastest player to reach $1 million in a season when he went over seven figures in just his eighth official event ($101,200 for solo second place at the Brunoís Memorial Classic)...Of his 71 rounds, 62 were par/better and he had a run of 10 straight scores in the 60s...Led all players in top-10 finishes (20) and Rounds in the 60s (48). 1997: His nine victories tied Peter Thomsonís 1985 record for most wins in one season...Season earnings of $2,343,364 shattered Jim Colbertís previous SENIOR TOUR record of $1,627,890...Became the first player to hit the $2-million mark in one season when he won his eighth title at the Vantage Championship and pocketed $225,000...His nine wins came in just 23 starts (18 top-10 finishes) and he averaged $101,885 per start...Got his year off to a great beginning with a two-stroke victory over Gil Morgan at the MasterCard Championship in Hawaii...Outdueled Bob Murphy a month later to win the LG Championship in Naples...Set a standard by successfully defending his PGA Seniorsí Championship, winning by a SENIOR TOUR-record 12 strokes...Nipped Isao Aoki with a birdie putt at the final hole of the Las Vegas Senior Classic...Took control of the Burnet Senior Classic near Minneapolis with a birdie at the 17th hole and slipped past Lee Trevino...Made birdies on the final two holes for a two-stroke win at the BankBoston Classic...Claimed the Boone Valley Classic near his home in St. Louis, playing all 54 holes without a bogey...Played another bogey-free event at the Vantage Championship and used a course-record 62 at Tanglewood in the second round to edge Dave Eichelberger...Tied Thomsonís record with a victory at the Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Classic...Claimed his first four titles in just seven starts, the fastest ever to that number, and also broke his own record as the quickest to $1 million in a season, surpassing that figure when he earned $114,400 for a second-place finish at the Nationwide Championship in just his 11th event (his previous record was 13 in 1996)...Of the 74 rounds he played, 57 were below par (77%) and only 13 were over par...More than half (41 of 74/55%) of his rounds were in the 60s...Won the Arnold Palmer Award as the leading money-winner and notched his second consecutive Byron Nelson Award as the SENIOR TOUR scoring leader (68.92)...Won his first Cadillac Series with 1,359,060 points. 1996: Just missed winning money title by $12,121 when he was passed by Jim Colbert on the final day at the Energizer SENIOR TOUR Championship, thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole...Still finished with $1,651,769...Averaged $70,250 in earnings in 22 starts with wins at PGA Seniorsí Championship and American Express Invitational...Led SENIOR TOUR with 21 top-10 finishes and was under par in 21 of 23 events...Won his first Byron Nelson Award as the SENIOR TOUR scoring leader (69.47)...His victory at the American Express Invitational pushed him past $1 million in SENIOR TOUR earnings in his 16th event, the fastest to do so at the time. 1995: SENIOR TOUR Rookie of the Year after pair of victories and 10th place finish on the money list in just 12 appearances...Made debut at BellSouth Senior Classic at Opryland (T4)...Claimed first win at the Ameritech Senior Open in his fifth start...Victory was third of his career in Chicago area (also won í90 U.S. Open/í75 Western Open)...Defeated Kermit Zarley by a whopping seven shots, equaling the largest winning margin on the SENIOR TOUR in 1995...His 21-under-par 195 total smashed the tournament record by five and was just one shy of the all-time 54-hole scoring record in relation to par...Did not make a bogey all week at the Vantage Championship and defeated Dave Stockton by four strokes.

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