Hawaii 5-0 Irwin Wins Fifth Straight

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KAHUKU, Hawaii -- Hale Irwin captured his sixth victory and fifth in a row at the Turtle Bay Championship on Sunday. He shot a 5-under 67 and won the event at 16-under-par 200, good for a five-shot win over Dana Quigley.
 
The win was Irwin's seventh in Hawaii, including the 1981 Hawaiian Open on the PGA Tour. Irwin also captured three unofficial Champions Skins Games in Hawaii.
 
'Turtle Bay has been really, really kind to me,' said Irwin, who pocketed $225,000 for his 41st victory on the Champions Tour. 'It must be in the air, or in the juice.'
 
Quigley and Allen Doyle, who began Sunday's final round in second place, battled it out for second place as Irwin essentially wrapped up the title around the turn. Quigley, who won the MasterCard Championship last week, shot a 69 to Doyle's 71 and Doyle shared third place with Tom Watson, who carded a 67 on Sunday, at minus-10.
 
Irwin began the final round with a two-shot lead and wasted little time in extending his margin. At the second, Irwin rolled in a right-to-left, 30-footer for birdie and followed with a 5-foot birdie putt at the third.
 
Irwin, the leader in Champions Tour victories by 12 over Lee Trevino, ran home an 8-foot birdie putt at the sixth. His play around the turn at the Palmer Course at Turtle Bay Resort sealed his trip to the winner's circle.
 
At the par-three eighth, Irwin converted a 12-foot birdie putt. He knocked a sand-wedge to 15 feet to set up birdie at the ninth, then drained a 20-footer for birdie at 10 that got him to 17 under par for the championship and gave him a seven-shot lead.
 
'I wanted to get off to a good start, which I did,' said Irwin. 'The big putts at nine and 10, even though the door was still open, after those putts it got real tight for some of the other players.'
 
Irwin played consistently over the back nine, although he did drop his first shot to par since the 15th on Friday with a bogey at the same hole. Despite the miscue at 15, Irwin still hung on to a five-shot advantage with the final two holes to play.
 
Irwin came up 35 feet short with his approach at No. 17, but calmly knocked in the 4-footer to save par. Then he watched the only drama left in the tournament, as playing partners Quigley and Doyle duked it out for runner-up honors on the par-5 closing hole.
 
The two were knotted at 11 under par and neither hit a good drive. Quigley hit his tee ball right into thick rough, while Doyle went left into water. Quigley chopped out his second and laid up short of the green. Doyle dropped and hit his third well back of the putting surface.
 
Quigley hit his fourth 3 feet short of the hole, while Doyle's approach sailed 25 feet past the cup. Doyle missed his par putt and tapped in for bogey, the Quigley sank his par putt to get second place.
 
Irwin played the 18th conservatively with a 3-wood off the tee and a lay up for his second shot. His third landed safely on the green and two-putted for par and his first win of the 2005 campaign.
 
'I hit every fairway but one, and hit every green. I didn't try to play as aggressively,' said Irwin. 'I'm very happy to have to done that five times in a row. I'm really grateful.'
 
Bruce Fleisher fired the round of the day Sunday with a 7-under 65. He tied for fifth with Jay Sigel (68), Dick Mast (69), Wayne Levi (69) and Don Pooley (70) at 9-under-par 207.
 
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