There were a lot of questions heading into the first full field PGA TOUR event of the 2011 season and Mark Wilson answered a lot of them. The 36-year old Wilson was bogey free Sunday en route to winning for the 3rd time in his PGA TOUR career.
After rain had forced round one of the Sony Open in Hawaii to be postponed, the PGA TOUR decided to play round one on Friday, round two on Saturday and the final two rounds on Sunday. Wilson managed to complete the 36-hole Sunday marathon without a bogey and finish at 16-under par for the tournament, two strokes better than Tim Clark and Steve Marino.
Heading into the final round, Wilson had a 1-stroke lead. The 36-hole Sunday may have worked to Wilson's advantage, giving him virtually no time to think about winning the event. Between the final putt to complete round three and his opening tee shot on round four he had all of 6 minutes. Barely enough time to use the bathroom, grab a sandwich and some golf balls.
Winning a PGA TOUR event is a big but what makes this one even more special? Mark Wilson will attend The Masters for the first time, and not as a fan like in 2001. Wilson will be teeing it up in the world's most prestigious golf tournament this April.
Pay Day for Mark Wilson
The extension of your PGA TOUR card and a trip to Augusta make any winner happy but money helps too. In 2010 Wilson earned $789,681 making the cut 16 of 28 times, 2 top 10's and 7 top 25 finishes. He finished 131st in the FedEx Cup and his World Golf Ranking had jumped to 237, the worst in his career (best was 98th in the world).
Imagine making what you made in all of 2010 in your first month at work? Wilson did it in one weekend! His win at the Sony Open earned him $990,000. In his career best year, Wilson earned about $1,800,000. In just his first event of the year, he is halfway there. He earned 500 FedEx Cup points and sits in second place.
Some of the biggest surprises are guys who missed the cut. Jim Furyk, Camillo Villegas, Adam Scott all played last weekend at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Robert Garrigus who lost in a playoff to Johnathan Byrd in a playoff by missing a 3-foot putt, also missed the cut.
The PGA TOUR will be in La Quinta, California for the Bob Hope Classic on Wednesday.