Hale takes The Memorial, again
On this day, In 1985 Hale Irwin won The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village by one stroke over Lanny Wadkins. It was his first victory in 16 months shooting a par 72 for a seven-under 281. Wadkins, who led Irwin by a shot going off the first tee, fired a two-over 74 for 282. He got into trouble on the front nine and was unable to make a comeback.
Irwin, who gained a four-shot lead over Wadkins at the 12th, held on through the 14th, then began to slip. When he bogeyed the 16th out of a bunker he was only two shots ahead. When both drove into the bunker right of the 18th fairway, it became a scramble again.
Fact: Irwin won the Memorial Tournament twice within three years (1983 & 1985). He was also runner-up in the inaugural event, which was won by Roger Maltbie
Irwin could not reach the green but managed to save a bogey 5 to win when Wadkins, who reached the green from that bunker for the second day in a row, missed his birdie putt of 25 feet.
Irwin said that after his bogey at the 16th, ”I felt that if I could just manage to hang on, which I barely did, I could win. With a cushion like I had, sometimes you just can’t get to the clubhouse fast enough.”
This victory was worth $100,000 to Irwin, who increased his 1985 PGA Tour earnings to $159,266. He went over the $100,000 mark in tournament winnings for the 14th straight year. That is the longest current string on the Tour and is second only to the record of 16 years set by Nicklaus from 1963 through 1978.