Irwin Wins Third 3M Championship


Blaine, MN -- Hale Irwin posted a bogey-free round of 4-under-par 68 to win the 3M Championship Sunday at the TPC of the Twin Cities. He finished with a 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 and won by three shots over Hubert Green.
Irwin won for the third time in 2002 but for the first time since the Toshiba Senior Classic in March. He extended his Senior Tour record for all-time wins to 35 and gained some redemption from previous weeks.
Irwin lost in a playoff three weeks ago to Bob Gilder at the SBC Senior Open and last week dropped another playoff - a seven-hole marathon against Green.
'I'm excited and I take great pride in my accomplishments,' said Irwin, who earned $262,500 for the victory. 'The big difference this week and last was putting came around this week.'
Premium Video - Subscription Required More from Irwin on his win.
James Mason shared the overnight lead with Irwin, but managed only an even-par 72 Sunday and shared third place with Doug Tewell, who carded a 67 in the final round. The duo came in at eight-under-par 208.
Allen Doyle and Gilder tied for fifth place at minus-7.
Irwin jumped out to the early lead when he holed a 25-foot birdie putt at the second and made it two in a row with a two-putt birdie at the par-five third hole.
Mason answered with a birdie of his own at the third and drew even with Irwin after a birdie at No. 5.
Mason ran into big trouble from there. He dropped shots at the seventh and the eighth holes and Irwin made Mason pay for his mistakes. Irwin knocked an 8-iron to 18 feet for birdie at the 10th and drained a six-footer for birdie at 12. Mason bogeyed the 13th hole and the tournament was Irwin's to lose.
While Irwin was playing smart golf, Green was moving up the leaderboard. Green bogeyed the 14th hole, but rebounded with an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-4 15th and closed with two short birdie putts to reach nine-under par.
Irwin sealed the victory with some strong par saves down the stretch. He ran home a nine-foot par try at the 15th and an eight-foot par putt at the last to earn his third win of the 2002 season.
'This is certainly one of the events you really want to win,' said Irwin, now a three-time winner of this championship. 'You get great support by fans and the community. That means a lot. It's always been a great event.'
For Green, the winner of the Long Island Classic last week, the hot streak continues. Since the Senior Players Championship in the middle of July, Green has one victory, two second-place finishes and a tie for 19th.
'I can't complain about how I played,' said Green, who shot a final-round 67. 'I didn't start off well today. I played pretty well except a couple of holes. Hale doesn't have reverse in his machine.'
Walter Morgan shot a five-under 67 Sunday to share seventh place with Andy North (69), Jerry McGee (70) and Bruce Fleisher (71). The group finished three days at six-under-par 210.
Final results from the 3M Championship