As you may remember, I wrote on Wednesday that I hoped to run into Mark Wilson this week and tell him the story of my clumsiness unfortunate mishap during his playoff against Jason Dufner at the Phoenix Open last Monday. The perfect opportunity struck on Thursday afternoon while I was perusing the range and speaking with some players, caddies and Marty Hackel, golf’s “Mr. Style,” and Wilson set up shop right next to us.
John Wood, who loops for Hunter Mahan, walked me over and said, “Hey Mark, I want you to meet someone. She has something to tell you.”
Marty chimed in and pointed at my leg, “You see this? It’s your fault she’s wearing this boot.”
Wilson looked taken aback and started to get a little defensive because he probably heard “your fault” and thought, “WTF?!”
I told him the whole story that it happened during his playoff all because I didn’t want to miss him hit a shot. Once he realized we had just been joking, he got a good laugh.
Of course, I was prepared — yes, I really was keeping the silver sharpie in my pocket in the case I ran into Wilson. (I’d never ask a player for an autograph, but the circumstances surrounding this incident made it acceptable.)
Being the great guy that he is, he happily signed the bionic boot, and as you can see, he got down on all fours. I couldn’t believe that Mark Wilson, who has won twice on Tour in seven weeks, actually was on his hands and knees signing my stupid boot. The whole thing was just absurdly awesome. I think he even got a kick out of it.
Serendipitously, JJ Tanabe, a photographer, was on the range and started snapping away when he saw the ridiculous scene. After all, it was a Kodak moment.
Mark was also genuinely worried when the ink was a little faint, but you can read it from up close. He wrote, “To Steph, thanks for cheering me on. Mark Wilson.”
I mean, what a genuinely good person — not many guys who are currently the hottest player on Tour would have humored such a request to give my lame story a little punch. Actually, Wilson might be the only one.
On Friday evening, I was standing by the scoring area inside the clubhouse after Mark finished his round and as he walked past, he learned over to examine his artwork. “It’s still kind of there, you can see it,” he quipped.
Thanks, Mark. I hope you win two more times this year.
(First two photos by JJ Tanabe and third photo by Kyle Auclair/insidetheropes.com)