Irwin, son close with 11-under 61
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hale and Steve Irwin closed with an 11-under 61 to hold off a late scare from Jack and Jackie Nicklaus and win the Father-Son Challenge on Sunday.
The Irwins, a runner-up three times in this tournament, made birdie on two of the last three holes in a scramble format and finished at 21-under 123. They won $200,000 and the Willie Park Trophy.
''After coming so close several times, we're happy to finally win this,'' Hale Irwin said.
The Nicklauses each had a 15-foot eagle putt to force a playoff on the final hole at ChampionsGate Golf Resort, and both thought they made it. They had to settle for a 62 and finished at 20-under 124.
''Jackie's putts looked like it was going in until right at the end,'' Nicklaus said. ''Mine, a foot from the hole, was dead center but then it dove sharply to the right. It was fun to be right in the hunt at the end.''
Larry and Jose Nelson had a 62 and finished third at 125.
Defending champions Craig and Kevin Stadler tied for fourth along with Tom and David Kite; first-round leaders Bernhard and Stefan Langer; and Vijay and Qass Singh.
Langer's and Singh's sons were among four 13-year-olds in the field of 16.
The Office Depot Father-Son Challenge is for major championship winners and their sons. The tournament made an exception for Arnold Palmer, allowing him to play with his grandson because Palmer has two daughters.
Palmer and 16-year-old Sam Saunders finished 12th.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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