Friday, May 2

The Decline of Hale Irwin

“Don’t show me the money. Show me what you’ve won.”
−Hale Irwin

You’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who has squeezed more wins out of his God-given talent than Hale Irwin. Not the longest hitter or the most aesthetically pleasing swinger of a golf club, Irwin’s sheer competitiveness has propelled him to a Hall-of-Fame career.

Irwin racked up 20 PGA Tour wins, including three U.S. Opens, the last at the age of 45. His second career on the Champions Tour has been dominating. Hale has won 45 times since his 50th birthday, a record by a wide margin.

But now at age 62 his game has deserted him. Irwin has no top tens this year and is mourning the loss of his mother, who died in March. Hale withdrew from this week’s FedEx Kinko’s Classic, his first career WD not due to an injury.

“I’m having as little fun as I’ve ever had in golf,” Irwin was quoted as saying by columnist David Shedloski.

“I truly feel like there are only two things left for me to do, and that’s change it or not play. Right now, I can’t seem to be able to change it.”

Even Hale’s famous competitive fire is barely a flicker.

“I just don’t have a lot of fight in me right now. I could always draw on something, but nothing is working for me right now.”

That’s too bad, although it eventually happens to all the greats.

−The Armchair Golfer


Anonymous said...

Trevino said this happened to him at age 56, so Irwin squeezed out 6 more good years. He was (and perhaps is) a great golfer but somewhat lacking, at least in my judgment, in personality.

The Armchair Golfer said...

He's always struck me as all business on and off the golf course.