Beach Country Club, and, on moving day, began to run away from the
77-player field before an estimated crowd of 24,000 in perfect weather
Speaking of perfect, Irwin, who shot 7-under-par 64 in the second
round to build a three-stroke lead heading into today's final round, is
still trying to get there.
"I'm going to try a new 3-wood and a new 4-wood right now. They're
waiting for me at the driving range," Irwin said. "You're always
Irwin, the 1998 Toshiba Classic champion, said "it's always fun to
play in the last group on Sunday," and he'll get that chance today as he
tries to become the tournament's first two-time winner.
Allen Doyle, the 2000 Toshiba winner, Larry Nelson and Gil Morgan are
tied for second at 8-under and will try to catch Irwin. Tied for fifth at
7-under are Don Pooley, Walter Hall and Monday qualifier Michael Zinni.
"Keep 'em coming," Irwin quipped after Friday's first round, referring
to his age (56) and ability to seemingly stave off a new crop of
50-year-olds each year, while continuing to dominate the Senior Tour.
Irwin birdied the par-4 No. 16 to separate himself from Doyle and move
to 10-under. Irwin's lead stretched to two strokes when Doyle bogeyed the
par-3 17, after hitting his tee shot in the right bunker.
With the ropes dropped behind Irwin and Doyle for fans to follow at
18, Irwin birdied the par-5 finishing hole, where a bunker shot from 60
feet landed three feet from the flag.
"I hit a lot of fairways and greens," said Irwin, who won the '98
Toshiba with a course-record 62 in the final round with the help of the
Famous Bunker Rake at 17, which stopped his tee shot from rolling in the
"When I shot that 62, I don't want to say it was a miracle, but I was
making putts that day and greens were not as smooth as they are now,"
said Irwin, who has won 17 of 22 events in which he has led or been tied
for the lead after 36 holes on the Senior Tour.
But how important is the second round in this tournament? In the
previous seven events, the 36-hole leader has won the event just twice --