Courtesy of PGA Tour/Stan Badz
Where do we begin… maybe we’ll start with his opening round of 5-under 65 back on Friday, consisting of 7 birdies and 2 bogeys. Solid start. The second round on Saturday would be a mixed bag, 6 birdies/3 bogeys for 3-under 67. They say that Saturday is moving day, but that wasn’t the case this week with the weather. Sunday morning was moving day, and Mark Wilson got the U-haul rolling…. a round of 5-under 65 in the morning put him in great position heading into the afternoon, giving him the opportunity to play with house-money for the remainder of the 2011 season. And Sunday afternoon he managed his missed shots flawlessly, carding nary a bogey and closing out the 3rd win of his career with a 3-under par round of 67. The win netted him $990,000, and a stress-free 2011. Congrats to Mark Wilson, who will be enjoying Hawaii for an additional week in 2012.
Tim Clark is another guy who hopped on the revolving equipment merry-go-round for 2011, leaving Srixon and signing a deal with Titleist. And it seems that he’s adjusting to the new ball and sticks just fine – posting his best finish on tour since his win at the Players Championship back in May of last season. Clark shot 4-under 66 in the morning round on Sunday, following it up with an impressive 6-under 64 in the afternoon. He finished T2.
Steve Marino made things interesting near the end on Sunday, with a little help from an unbelievable second shot on the par5 closing hole that gave him an outside shot at a playoff with Wilson. Marino’s eagle putt just narrowly missed the left side of the hole, leaving him a tap-in birdie and a share of 2nd place with Tim Clark. This was his best finish since his T2 back at the Crowne Plaza Invtl in 2009.
We’ve gotten so accustomed to seeing Matt Kuchar’s name near the top of the Sunday leaderboards that it’s almost impossible to not notice when he isn’t. But he was there again this week, 4 consecutive rounds in the 60′s and another top-10 finish. Matt finished 11-under for the tournament, T5.
Steve Stricker is starting 2011 off with a bang… he finished T4 at last week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and made another strong showing again this week by finishing T9. Two tournaments – two top-10′s. Could be yet another great season on his storied comeback from 4 seasons ago.
Finally… Davis Love III, the latest Titleist turncoat who’s now gaming Bridgestone equipment doesn’t seem to be having any issues making the adjustment. Davis was well in the mix heading into the final round before running out of steam, finishing with a 1-under round of 69 and sharing 9th place with Stricker. Nice to see DL3 getting off to a good start this season.
The following notables failing to make the first cut of 2011: Bo Van Pelt, Carl Pettersson, Justin Leonard, John Daly, Jim Furyk, Robert Allenby, Adam Scott, K.J. Choi, Camilo Villegas, David Duval, Robert Garrigus
Rating a Few Notable Rookies
Because so many players finished within 10 strokes of the leader after 36 holes, a secondary cut was implemented after 54 holes.
Chris Kirk, Nationwide Tour Grad from 2010 – T30 @ 6-under par
Daniel Summerhays, Nationwide Tour Grad – T34 @ 5-under par
Nate Smith, Q-School Grad – T42 @ 4-under par
Kevin Chappell, Nationwide Tour Grad – T42 @ 4-under par
Matt McQuillan, T54 @ 2-over par
Ben Martin, Q-School Grad – Missed Cut after 54 holes
Alex Rocha, Q-School Grad – Missed Cut after 54 holes
Fabian Gomez, Nationwide Tour Grad – Missed Cut after 54 holes
Joseph Bramlett, Q-School Grad – Missed Cut after 54 holes
Jamie Lovemark, Nationwide Tour Grad – Cut after 36 holes
For an official full recap of the Sony Open, click HERE.