DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) – Peter Jacobsen could only wait and watch as Hale Irwin tried to catch him in the final round of the Senior Players Championship.

After Jacobsen birdied two of the last three holes to take the lead at 15 under, the 60-year-old Irwin just missed birdie tries on the final two holes to come up a stroke short Sunday in his bid for his eighth senior major victory.

The 51-year-old Jacobsen won his second senior major title in less than year, finishing with a 6-under 66 on the TPC of Michigan course.

Jacobsen, who won 2003 Greater Hartford Open for the last of his seven PGA Tour titles, won the U.S. Senior Open early last August at Bellerive for his only other victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Jacobsen, playing three groups ahead of Irwin, made a birdie putt out of a collection area on the 16th and two-putted from 80 feet on the next hole for a birdie to surge past Irwin.

Irwin, trying to tie Jack Nicklaus’ record for senior major victories, came up inches short on a 13-foot birdie try on No. 17. Then, after a great approach on the final hole, the three-time U.S. Open winner narrowly missed a 12-footer.

Irwin, who also lipped out a 4-footer for par on the 12th, finished with a 70 after shooting three straight 68s.

Five-time British Open champion Tom Watson (68) and Tom McKnight (71) tied for third at 12 under.

Dana Quigley (73) was among six player at 10 under in perhaps the final event in his ironman streak. Quigley, playing his 264th consecutive event and 278th straight in events he has been eligible for, will end the eight-year run if his hip doesn’t improve because of doesn’t want to sit through a long flight to the Senior British Open.

Jacobsen, playing in only his 13th Champions Tour event in two years, dropped to 9 under with a bogey on No. 5, but had six birdies in a 12-hole stretch to take the lead.

The fan favorite earned $375,000 for his fourth top-six finish in four appearances in Champions Tour majors. He has played 10 PGA Tour events this year, including last month’s U.S. Open where he tied for 15th.

The tournament was the first of three straight majors. The Senior British Open is July 21-24 at Royal Aberdeen, followed by the U.S. Senior Open at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio.

AP-ES-07-10-05 1832EDT


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