It appears your browser may be outdated. For the best website experience, we recommend updating your browser.   learn more

Photo Gallery

Did you know you can save your preferences across all your digital devices and platforms simply by creating a profile? Would you like to get started?
Not right now
No, never ask again
The Tour Report

January 23 2012

2:38 AM

Final update: Wilson finishes strong


By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Everyone was making birdies. Just not Mark Wilson.

Luckily, though, he had started the day with a three-stroke advantage -- and when Wilson finally got that first birdie putt to drop, there was no stopping him as he played his final eight holes in 4 under on Sunday to win the Humana Challenge by two strokes.

With a flair for the dramatic, Wilson sealed the victory with a 10-foot birdie putt in near darkness on the 18th hole  to beat Robert Garrigus, John Mallinger and Johnson Wagner by two strokes. After making the turn 1 over, Wilson closed with a 69 to earn the fifth victory of his PGA TOUR career.
"It was a challenge," Wilson said as he talked about the difficulty of staying patient when birdies were flying all around him. "But I guess my experience helped me in this situation knowing that, Hey, there's a lot of golf left, maybe I want it make my birdies at the end of the round, and thankfully that's what I did this time."

Wilson regained the lead for good when Garrigus missed a 6-footer for par at the 17th hole. Both then went for the green in two at the par-5 18th with Wilson's 2-hybrid running through to the back fringe some 68 feet away and Garrigus' 5-iron coming up 28 feet short.

Wilson putted first, and his ball stopped 10 feet to the left and short of the pin. Then Garrigus' first putt went 9 feet past. When Wilson made his birdie putt, though, the victory was his.

"I felt like Robert and I really had a good time, and Zach (Johnson, their playing partner) for that matter," Wilson said. "But Robert and I were kind of going back and forth. We enjoyed that. Both making the putts on 16, and then, yeah, it just came down to 18. I didn't want to give him a chance to make that putt to tie me. So thankfully I rolled mine in and got it done."

Garrigus had started the Humana Challenge on the back nine of the Palmer Course and he was 6 over as he played the 18th hole that Thursday. But he shot a 61 in the wind-delayed third round and played his final 64 holes in 28 under to have a chance to win.

“Just because of the what we are thinking of on the 18th fairway on Thursday to what I was thinking of on the 18th fairway today, I'm like, Can you believe we actually have a shot to win this thing if I make this eagle putt?’ Garrigus said. “It was just, it was exciting and that's what we live for. And I got a lot of guts, and I don't like to lay down very easily. So it was a blast.

“We had so much fun this week, and especially the 61. It could have been 54. I was making everything and anything that didn't go in just hit the lip. It was a blast. I'll never forget it.”

comments powered by Disqus