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Hale Irwin
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Golfer
    (June 3, 1945- )
    Born in Joplin, Missouri
    Won 20 PGA Tour events, including three US Opens (1974,1979,1990)
    Won 45 Champions Tour events, including two US Senior Opens (1998,2000)
    Played on five Ryder Cup teams (1975-81,1991)
    Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame (1992)
    He was considered a colorless, nondemonstrative player.
    He was not very fan-friendly.
    In a poll of PGA golfers, he was named least favorite playing partner (1994).
    His first name inspired pun-prone sports writers. (Usually some variant on 'Hail, Irwin' to announce a victory or 'Hale and Hearty' to discuss his durability on the Champions Tour.)
    He was a self-taught golfer, who never had a professional lesson.
    He was one of the few pro golfers to earn a college degree.
    While at the University of Colorado, he won the NCAA Championship in golf and was an All-Big Eight defensive back in football.
    In an uncharacteristic display of emotion, he high-fived the gallery at the 1990 US Open after sinking a 45-foot putt to tie for the lead and force a playoff.
    Caddy John Sullivan said, 'After caddying for Jack [Nicklaus], I thought I would never meet anyone who was more intense, but now I have. I'm not calling Hale a better player than Jack, but he is definitely more of a competitor.'
    He raised a lot of money for the St. Louis Children's Hospital, which named a wing in his honor.

Credit: C. Fishel


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