When final-round play was suspended due to darkness on Sunday evening at TPC Scottsdale, Mark Wilson, who won last month’s Sony Open, held a two-stroke lead over third-round leader Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh at the (Phoenix) Waste Management Open. Wilson, a native of Wisconsin, wore a yellow visor and green shirt in support of the Green Bay Packers. He even broke out a cheesehead hat on No. 16 during the third round this morning (because of the frost delays, third round play wasn’t completed until Sunday afternoon).
Wilson started the final round at 17-under, a shot out behind Gainey. With a birdie on No. 8, Wilson tied things up and took the lead on No. 12 after he sank a 15-footer for birdie to get to 18-under. Gainey’s drive on No. 11 found the water and he scrambled for a bogey. He lost two shots on No. 12 after three-putting to drop to 16-under.
“I made a couple bogeys the last few holes and you know, I didn’t think I really hit that many bad shots to be honest,” said Two Gloves, whose career-best finish was second at the 2008 Children’s Miracle Network Classic. “The drive on No. 11 I thought was good. I hit it in the middle of the fairway and it just happened to go in the water. That’s just how it goes.”
Wilson and Gainey had 19-footers for birdie on No. 13 when the horn blew and decided to wait until morning to putt out.
“I’m going to be trying to birdie every hole in a smart, systematic way, whatever that means,” said Wilson after play was called. “14, if that means I’ve got a 5-iron in, I’m going to hit it to the fat side of the green, try to make a 30-footer. If it makes sense to go for it on 15, I will; if it makes sense to lay up, I’ll do that.”
Meanwhile, Vijay Singh fired a five-under 66 to charge up the leaderboard, good enough to stand at T2 at the moment. Even though Singh is only two shots back, he’s not sticking around for the Monday finish.
“I’ve got no chance,” said Singh. “They’re going to come back tomorrow and I think the leaders have two par-5s to go and 17 (a drivable par-4), and they’re good enough players…I’ll leave tomorrow morning.”
Singh had a four-footer for birdie on No. 18 and chose to putt out in the dark. He could read the putt, but missed it.
“Matt (Bettencourt) wanted to finish, as well, and go home,” added Singh. “I had a good chance to birdie and missed it left. It didn’t bother me at all.”
Dufner has four holes to play, including the reachable in two par-5 No. 15.
Nick Watney, who shot 68 for a 15-under total, also doesn’t anticipate the leaders to choke coming down the stretch.
“I doubt I’ll have to stick around,” said Watney. “I mean, obviously if that were the case, I would love to. But I don’t think I have a chance. If I miss the playoff, that’s on me. But like I said, I don’t anticipate 15 (under) being in a playoff.”
29 players will return to TPC Scottsdale at 9am on Monday. The last unscheduled Monday finish at a PGA Tour event happened at the 2010 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Approximately nine hours of play was lost due to frost delays this week. It’s been a marathon for some guys, who played 54 holes in the last day-and-a-half. But for many players, the most annoying part of the whole situation was probably missing part of the Super Bowl.
Wilson received systematic updates of the score from CBS on-course funnyman David Feherty and Sirius XM announcer Mike Collins.
“The saddest thing is I couldn’t watch the first half of the Super Bowl,” said Wilson. “That’s about it. But the Packers carried through in the first half, so I’ll watch the second half.”
Wilson already has something to celebrate — the Packers held off the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)