2004: Irwin holds on for 1st of ’04

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Savannah, Ga.

Hale Irwin didn’t have his best, but lucky for him, Gil Morgan didn’t have his Sunday best . . . again.

In the end, it was Irwin who captured the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf April 25 at The Club at Savannah Harbor. A two-putt par for Irwin on the final hole secured his first victory of 2004.

“A classic finish it was not,” said Irwin, who finished at 11-under 205. “Although it did come down to the final hole.

“I’m kind of at a loss here, not having played in the last four weeks. I didn’t have any high expectations.”

Irwin, who has been sidelined with a nagging back injury, was helped by a bogey on the final hole by Morgan.

Morgan, a winner at the SBC Classic last month, found the fairway bunker on the final hole, blasted out and his third came up 20 feet shy of the hole. He two-putted for bogey and tied for second with Gary Koch.

“I’m playing pretty good,” Morgan said. “But, the last two Sundays, I haven’t played as well as I’d like. I should have been a little smarter on a few shots. If I had, I’d still be playing (in a playoff). I think that was very critical to the outcome.”

Irwin held a three-shot lead over Dave Barr and four over Morgan after a birdie on No. 9, his fourth in six holes. Irwin bogeyed Nos. 12 and 16 and finished with a 1-under 71. Meanwhile, Morgan birdied Nos. 11 and 14 to get to one behind at 11 under. They were tied at 11 under after Irwin’s bogey at 16.

“I think this win was fantastic, especially when you consider I wasn’t playing well,” Irwin said.

He became the ninth winner in nine events this season.

– Staff and wire reports

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