It’s worth nothing that the last time I watched the conclusion of a golf tournament finishing on a Monday was back in the fall with the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Before that it was the 2008 US Open with Woods and Rocco going mano a mano. Before that…. can’t remember. It’s been that long.
But today I tuned in for the final 2 hours of what will forever more be remembered as the Phoenix Frostbite Open, wanting desperately to see a warm, fuzzy, mittens-wearing character with a homemade swing do the unthinkable…. hoping that an unemotional, meticulous tactician of an opponent wouldn’t be quite as predictable. But it wouldn’t work out that way in the end. Yeah – we saw yet another great finish this season, and the tactician would prevail to continue his journey of what has already been a remarkable season for him. Mark Wilson is playing the golf of his life, and it’s refreshing to note that strategy and percentage golf can still reap huge dividends in the bomb-and-gouge era that the game has become. But it also left me wanting to reach through the television to hug the lovable action figure known as Tommy Two Gloves. Almost, Tommy. Almost.
The fact of the matter is that success breeds success. Over the last 36 holes, Mark Wilson showed the same steady patience and focus that enabled him to close the deal back at the Sony Open earlier last month. Not a long hitter of the ball, but sneaky long for a player of his size and stature. And deadly straight, as you would expect of a player that has managed to win on this tour despite giving up nearly 1/3 of a football field in distance to some of the more prodigiously long hitters. But Wilson has shown tenacity where it matters most at this level – iron play and putting. He just doesn’t make mistakes when the heat is on. As impressive as his win was back at the Sony, this one just seemed all the more. And for all the right reasons…. not that his win back at the Sony needed any sort of validation, but if it did – he took care of that on Monday as well.
Well played, Mr. Wilson. Well played.