Jan 23, 201212:17 PMRick Pledl

Wilson wins everywhere

Mark Wilson – all 5 feet, 8 inches of him – is rapidly thrusting himself into the conversation of the greatest golfers ever from the state of Wisconsin.

Wilson, a native of Menomonee Falls who won his fifth career PGA Tour tournament yesterday at the Humana Challenge, still hasn’t reached the heights of Andy North and Steve Stricker, who must be considered Nos. 1 and 2 in some sort of order on that list. But Wilson now looks like a solid choice at No. 3.

Wilson, 37, trails only two Wisconsinites when it comes to winning titles on the PGA Tour. Stricker has won 12 times, including the season-opening event in 2012, and state legend Johnny Revolta is credited with 18 tour titles in the 1930s and ‘40s, including the 1935 PGA Championship.

Jerry Kelly has won three PGA Tour events and J.P. Hayes has won twice. North won three titles, including two U.S. Opens.

Wilson’s latest victory in California pushed his career earnings to $11.9 million, which trails only Stricker (more than $32 million) and Kelly (more than $22 million) among Wisconsin natives.

Just as impressive as where Wilson has gotten is the manner in which he arrived there. His PGA Tour playoff record is 2-0, and he wins everywhere.

Wilson’s has won these five tournaments:

2007 Honda Classic, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

2009 Mayakoba Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun, Mexico

2011 Sony Open in Hawaii, Honolulu

2011 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Phoenix

2012 Humana Challenge, La Quinta, Calif.

So Wilson has won in four states and two nations. He’s won on both sides of the Mississippi and in Hawaii. He’s won on the beach and in the desert. He even won while wearing a Cheesehead in Phoenix last year.

Before he got his PGA Tour card, Wilson won three times on the Hooters Tour. Before that he won the Wisconsin State Open (2001), the Wisconsin State Amateur (1996) and the State Junior (1992).

The kid’s a winner.

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About This Blog

Editor Rick Pledl joined Killarney Golf Media in 1995. A longtime member of the Golf Writer’s Association of America, Pledl is also an award-winning outdoor writer. He previously worked as a freelance journalist and as a reporter at various daily and weekly newspapers in Wisconsin. Email him at rpledl@wisgolfer.com.

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