In a golf tournament that seemed to go on forever after frost delayed regulation play and a playoff extended it, Mark Wilson (65-64-68-69-266) grabbed his second PGA Tour of the season on Monday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii winner outlasted Jason Dufner (65-68-67-66-266) in a two-hole playoff at TPC Scottsdale, capping it with a final birdie from nine feet on the TPC’s 10th hole while Dufner had yet to putt for par from just over seven feet.
In just three starts this year Mark Wilson has been in peak form. Now a winner of four career PGA Tour titles, his win today affords the opportunity for the 36-year old to play in all the majors this year.
“This is the best golf I’ve played in my life,” he said in an interview with The Golf Channel immediately after the playoff.
Wilson, best known for his methodical style of play, depended on that greatly Monday as he watched one of his rivals for the title, Tommy Gainey, struggle to a triple bogey on the 17th hole and fall out of contention.
Meanwhile Jason Dufner made the required charge with birdies on holes 16 and 17 and a great up and down par on his final hole in regulation. He fully expected that his total of eighteen under would not be enough to reach a playoff; that Wilson would birdie one of his remaining holes. In fact, Wilson needed a clutch par putt of around five feet on his 72nd hole just to reach the playoff. Dufner is on a roll, by his own account having made only three bogeys in his last 108 holes on tour, and he is a good pick for this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Wilson’s victory comes on the heels of a Superbowl win by his favourite team, the Green Bay Packers. The only that might elevate his recent play even more would be a second win of the week as he is scheduled to be in the field at the AT&T.
With the win Wilson jumps ahead of Jhonnatan Vegas in the FedEx Cup standings and cashes a check for $1.098 million. Dufner earned $658,000 for his efforts.
Martin Laird (68-71-64-65-268) and Vijay Singh (69-65-68-66-268) shared third place and each added $353,800 to their bank accounts.
– Wilson is sponsored by Montreal-based clothing manufacturer SunIce. I’m guessing they think it was a pretty good signing that continues to pay off.
-Stephen Ames was the only Canadian to make the cut this week at TPC Scottsdale. The Calgary resident tied for 62nd with a final round score of 75 dropping his twenty spots from his position after the third round.