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February 27 2012

7:07 PM

Wilson's caddie faces long haul

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Chris Jones and Mark Wilson have worked together for six years on TOUR.

Well, that's one way to combat rising airfare prices.

As noted on Sunday's Notes from inside the ropes, Mark Wilson's caddie Chris Jones had his van for the entire West Coast Swing. That would be fine -- except Wilson rolled through the bracket at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Wilson played until late Sunday, leaving Jones with a mere 72 hours to get to Palm Beach, Fla. for the first round of The Honda Classic.

The thing is, he won't make it in time for Wednesday's pro-am. Wilson will have to go to his bench for help on Wednesday.

"I've got to find somebody for Wednesday," Wilson said. "Something tells me I'm going to get some phone calls."

Wilson and Jones have one of the longer player-caddie marriages on the PGA TOUR. They've been together ever since Wilson was a struggling TOUR pro in 2006, but it was an incident at the 2007 The Honda Classic that thrust Jones into the spotlight.

A quick recap: Jones inadvertently told a fellow caddie what club Wilson had hit early in the second round at PGA National. Of course, that's a no-no, and it cost Wilson a two-shot penalty at a time when Wilson was struggling to make it on TOUR. Q-school was a yearly event for him.

Instead of hurting Wilson, the penalty seemed to fire him up. Wilson went on a birdie binge, shooting a 66 (with the penalty) on one of the toughest courses on TOUR. He stayed hot on the weekend and eventually won a four-man playoff. He hasn't been back to q-school since, and he's racked up five PGA TOUR wins, all with Jones on the bag.

"From there on, I just played some of the best golf of my life," Wilson said of the 2007 penalty. "Chris is a great caddie. He felt so bad about what he did. I'm sure he won't do it again. You know, it didn't really cost him a dime in the end."

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