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Wilson victory seals big ticket

HONOLULU — Mark Wilson made it through a 36-hole marathon Sunday bogey-free and held on for a two-shot win in the Sony Open that will get him to the Masters for the first time.

Wilson carded 5-under 65 in the morning to take a one-shot lead into the afternoon round. He stretched his lead to four shots at the turn, then hung on when Tim Clark and Steve Marino made late runs on different sides of Waialae.

Clark, who started the final round five shots behind, birdied three of his last four holes. He narrowly missed an eagle on No. 9 and settled for 64.

Then came Marino with two late birdies and one incredible shot. On the par-5 18th, with his feet in a bunker and his ball about chest-high on a hill, Marino hit a fairway metal from 234 yards away to within 40 feet. His eagle putt narrowly missed, giving him 68.

Wilson made one last birdie he didn't need, giving him 67 for 264 total and 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 before the third and fourth rounds. "I'm thankful it's over now."

As for the Masters, Augusta National did not invite winners of most PGA Tour events until 2007, a month after Wilson won the Honda Classic. His 2009 win in Mexico didn't earn an invitation because it was an opposite-field tournament.

EUROPEAN: Charl Schwartzel defended his Joburg Open title in Johannesburg, closing with 4-under 67 and a four-stroke victory in his homeland. He finished at 265, topping overnight co-leader and compatriot Garth Mulroy (71—269).

Wilson victory seals big ticket 01/16/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 16, 2011 11:18pm]
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