Mark Wilson of the USA came through a gruelling 36-holes on Sunday to win the Sony Open in Hawaii by two strokes from fellow American Steve Marino and South Africa’s Tim Clark.

Thursday was a washout at Waialae so the tournament officials, playing catch-up, decided to squeeze two full rounds into the last day. Going into Sunday, an amazing 56 players were within seven shots of the lead, meaning the eventual winner could come from anywhere in the field.

Wilson fired a solid third round of 65 to take a one-stroke advantage over Marino into the final 18. They had just six minutes between rounds before heading once again to the first tee.

Wilson was immovable through Sunday afternoon. He made birdies at the 4th and 9th and kept a bogey off his card. On the 17th, the 36-year-old looked to be in danger of dropping his first shot. His lead down to one shot over Tim Clark, he faced a testing 12-foot putt to save par. He settled over it, stroked the ball towards the cup and it dropped in the side.

With a birdie at the par-5 last, Wilson sealed the title, his third PGA Tour victory, and with it he earned a spot at the 2011 Masters.

“I get goose bumps thinking about it,” he said. “I’m just thrilled to be the champion.”

Closing with a superb 64, South Africa’s Tim Clark hauled himself up the leaderboard to finish in a tie for second with Steve Marino.

“The back nine, I kind of got it going there with some iron shots. A few putts would have helped, but I’m very pleased.” Said Clark who has moved up to 20th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Sony Open in Hawaii
Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jan 13-16, purse $5,500,000, par 70

1   Mark Wilson (USA)   65   67   65   67   264   $990,000
T2   Tim Clark (RSA)      68   68   66   64   266   $484,000
T2   Steve Marino (USA)   65   67   66   68   266   $484,000

4   Jimmy Walker (USA)   68   65   66   68   267   $264,000
T5   Matt Bettencourt (USA)   68   65   68   67   268   $209,000
T5   Matt Kuchar (USA)   65   68   66   69   268   $209,000
T7   Shigeki Maruyama (Jap) 65   65   70   69   269   $177,375
T7   Roland Thatcher (USA)   67   65   68   69   269   $177,375

Note: Player in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only

Where next?

Equipment: Mizuno JPX800 driver launched
Courses: Top 100 Rankings 2010
Opinion: Fergus Bisset