Date: March 06, 2007
Author: Sportal

Wilson wins playoff

By Sportal Mark Wilson outlasted a trio of players in a three-hole play-off on Monday (US) to win the Honda Classic. It was the first career PGA Tour victory for Wilson, a former veteran of the Nationwide Tour who struggled down the stretch in the final round. Darkness set in on Sunday night after the first play-off hole, forcing Wilson, Jose Coceres, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley to return to PGA National Resort & Spa early on Monday morning to play the par-four 10th hole. The quartet of players finished regulation play tied at five-under-par 275, one stroke ahead of Australian Robert Allenby who secured his fifth top-five position on the PGA Tour this year. The lay-off clearly worked wonders for Wilson, who sank a birdie putt from 10 feet on the par-three 17th hole to earn a two-year exemption from the tour&aposs qualifying school. “It feels good,” said Wilson, who won US$990,000. “I&aposm just thrilled. I hit the right putt, and it went in on the edge.” The 32-year-old, who has gone to the Q-school in each of the last 10 years, was also happy to earn the time off. “Now I can play my November and December,” he said. Villegas and Weekley were both eliminated from the play-off after bogeying on the 10th, setting up the fantastic finish between Wilson and Coceres. Coceres, who also lost in a play-off to Fred Funk last week at the Mayakoba Classic, missed his chance to tie Wilson on the 17th, missing a nine-foot birdie putt. All four players began the play-off on Sunday by parring the par-five 18th, the first of the extra format. Had Weekley not missed a three-foot putt on the same hole in regulation, he would have secured his first career win. A member of the Nationwide Tour for the last four years, Weekley began the Sunday one shot behind Wilson. He followed all four of his birdies with eventual bogeys, including one at the last hole for a round of par 70.