Born in Joplin, Mo., raised in southeast Kansas and now residing in Paradise Valley, Ariz., Irwin nonetheless is best known and defined by his life in Colorado. Irwin moved to Boulder at age 14, starred in baseball, football and golf at Boulder High and attended the University of Colorado. He was twice an all-Big 8 defensive back, and in 1967 he won the individual title at the NCAA Championship. Irwin later made his home in the Denver area, and established course design and management businesses there — and it was during his residence in Colorado that he cleaned up on the PGA Tour, with 20 victories, including three U.S. Opens in 1974, ’79 and ’90. That third win came at age 45, making him the oldest U.S. Open winner ever. Bonus points for his record on the Champions Tour, where he racked up a staggering 45 wins.
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