Wins Always Unexpected Says Irwin


Sixty-two times Hale Irwin has won a tournament, whether on the regular tour (20) or the Champions Tour (42). But he says not one time did he ever feel, when the event started, that he had a chance to win it come Sunday night.
One of those 62 came last year at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Savannah, Ga., where, incidentally, the Champions Tour is playing again this weekend. And those times when he felt good about winning just didnt happen, he says.
Probably zero, he said when he was asked if he had ever felt before that this week was the week. The times I felt really good going into an event, I've bombed. And there are tournaments I've played where I didn't think I had a chance, and I've won.
That's not to say that I haven't played well going into an event or I may have felt fairly good about an aspect of my game, but I can't think back to any one event where I've gone in and said on a Wednesday, Boy, do I feel good about this.
More than anything else, if I've gone into an event, I think, Boy, I've got a long ways to go. That doesn't mean I'm not confident about what I can do, but they don't give out the winner's check on Thursday - they give it out on Sunday.
Two of Irwins wins have already come this year, with another event resulting in a second-place finish. But with his 60th birthday less then two weeks away, Irwin says a win this week would again be a surprise.

To me, it's trying to get myself prepped for that sprint to the finish on Sunday and hopefully hang in there until then, he said. However, he conceded that there were times he was extremely surprised, others he was simply surprised.
I suppose if I went back and you pointed out every one and you conjured up what I was feeling at the time, there might be a half a dozen where I could say I felt pretty good going into that event, he admitted.
After the 90 win at Medinah (in the U.S. Open), I knew I was playing well, obviously. But I started playing better as the week went on. So I went to Westchester, and I knew it was a whirlwind, but I was playing well, and I won that event, too.
There have been times when I've gone into the next event - gone into a major championship thinking that things were OK and just absolutely bombed. It's hard to say. I don't really think about that. What's past is past and the only future to me is the first tee shot tomorrow and go from there.
No frills, no thrills ' but with Irwin, you take it or leave it. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses.
That's the way I've always approached it. Simplistic and boring, but that's the way it is.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf