Mark Wilson triumphs at the Sony Hawaiian Open
HONOLULU, Hawaii – American Mark Wilson charged from the back in a frantic 36-hole final day, to win the Sony Open in Hawaii Sunday at Waialae Country Club.
Wilson fired a final round 67 to finish with a 16-under-par 264 total, good enough for a two-stroke victory over South African Tim Clark and American Steve Marino, three better than fellow American Jimmy Walker, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory. Wilson won $990,000 dollars American in the first full field PGA Tour event of 2011. “It was nice to go right to the tee and not have to think about it,” Wilson said of having only a few minutes before the third and fourth rounds. “I'm thankful it's over now.”
The final day scramble was mandated by the early week rains, which meant all players had to endure a rare 36 holes on the final sunny Hawaiian day. Second round co-leaders Australia’s Stuart Appleby and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama, quickly faded in the Sunday surge which left the field wide open for a winner.
Wilson quickly took an advantage with a third round 65 which put him in third place going to the final round. He moved to the front early in the fourth round with a flurry of birdies which had him ahead by four shots when the leaders made the turn on the back nine. In winning his third PGA Tour event of his career, he didn’t make a single bogey on the final day, finishing second overall in driving accuracy and fourth in putting, a sure combination for victory. He also qualified for the Masters Tournament, golf’s first major championship in April.
He held off a band of back nine challenges including Clark, who shot a final round 64, the low round of the day. “Going into today, I was quite well back,” Clark said, “but I kind of figured if you could get it going around here, you might have a chance.”
Wilson punctuated his PGA Tour victory with a birdie 4 on the par 5 18th hole, thrusting his fist into the area to celebrate the victory. Marino finished with a final round 68. Walker also shot a 68 to record his second best PGA Tour finish. Two American golfers Matt Bettencourt and Matt Kuchar were tied for fifth at 12-under, 268.
1) Mark Wilson (USA) 65-67-65-67 (264, -16)
2) Tim Clark (RSA) 68-68-66-64 (266, -14)
Steve Marino (USA) 65-67-66-68
4) Jimmy Walker (USA) 68-65-66-68 (267, -13)
5) Matt Bettencourt (USA) 68-65-68-67 (268, -12)
Matt Kuchar (USA) 65-68-66-69
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