Mark Wilson played 36 holes Sunday without a bogey and held on for a two-shot win in the Sony Open that will take him to the Masters for the first time.
Wilson shot a 5-under 65 in the morning at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu to take a one-shot lead into the afternoon. He stretched his lead to four shots at the turn, then held off Tim Clark and Steve Marino.
Clark, who birdied three of his last four holes, narrowly missed an eagle putt on the ninth hole and settled for a 64. Then came Marino with two late birdies and one incredible shot that at least gave him hope.
Two shots behind on the par-5 18th, with his feet in a bunker and his ball about chest-high on the side of a mound, Marino blasted a fairway metal from 234 yards away that landed on the front of the green and rolled 40 feet away. His eagle putt narrowly missed, giving him a 68.
Wilson made one last birdie, giving him a 67 for his third career victory.
“It was nice to go right to the tee and not have to think about it,” Wilson said of having only a few minutes between the third and fourth rounds. “I’m thankful it’s over now.”
Wilson finished at 16-under 264 after playing his final 40 holes bogey-free.
The victory, worth $990,000, was important to Wilson for a couple of reasons.
His exemption is running out for winning in Mexico in 2009, and he is coming off a season with only two top 10s. And then there’s the Masters.
Augusta National started inviting winners of most PGA Tour events in 2007, a month after Wilson won the Honda Classic. His win in Mexico didn’t count because it was secondary that week to the Match Play Championship.
Charl Schwartzel successfully defended his Joburg Open title, closing with four straight birdies for a 4-under 67 and a four-stroke victory over fellow South African Garth Mulroy.