What was the issue with Hale Irwin? (Tour history)
Don’t know why, but I found myself googling Hale Irwin, found his Wiki page and was surprised seeing how much he won on Seniors, and comparingly how few titles he had on the PGA. Was there something wrong when he was in his prime?
For Langer, the other player that has dominated the Seniors tour but didnt have 30+ victories on the PGA tour the answer is easy. Putting yips. Those costed him at least 10 big titles. Otherwise, his game was razor sharp. And then he found the broomstick and the rest is history.
Irwin is a little before my time. Ok, I played most of the 80’s but there wasnt any televised golf, more than an occasional major, in my home country. Articles, but mostly about the big names. I remember seeing his last victory at 49, after a long break, assuring that there is such a thing as muscle memory. But apart from a sloppy putt miss that costed him a BO in 84, i have no memory of him in his prime.
Looking at his winning record he absolutely ruled the Seniors tour, even more profoundly than Langer. But, albeit 3 US Opens, he had surprisingly few wins on the PGA tour. I remember him from the 80`s as something like a Furyk, OWGR top 10 guy maybe, but never one of the Big Three or the Big Five.
Why did he win so much more on the seniors? Did he have any issues with his game that he sorted out late in his career?