DUBLIN, Ohio—Mark Wilson is every bit of his 5-feet-8-inch and 145-pound frame, yet he has played like he is 7 feet tall and getting taller after a third round 66 on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.
Starting the year, Wilson had won two times, the 2007 Honda Classic and the 2009 Mayakoba Golf Classic, an opposite field event in Mexico. In 2011, though, Wilson has stepped up his winning ways—capturing the Sony Open and then following up just weeks later in Phoenix by winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Wilson would normally be on the cusp of a third victory—or at least in the hunt—if fellow Wisconsin native Steve Stricker were not blitzing the field. Wilson sits at 7-under 209 through 54 holes, good for a top-five position, but still five strokes off the lead.
“I think I made the cut the year we were playing lift, clean and place the whole week and barely finished 60th or something, because the course did play really long,” Wilson said. “Seventeen is a great example today, normally I’m hitting … when it’s soft, it’s driver, 4‑iron or something like that; whereas today it’s a 3‑wood and a 9‑iron because it was downwind and it’s firming up. My ball rolled probably 60 yards in the fairway. So it certainly helps a shorter hitter out.”
With the hard and fast conditions of Muirfield Village, Wilson may be looking at bigger fish with the U.S. Open just two weeks away, but one thing is for sure any golf course is now prey to the diminutive guy from Wisconsin.
Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.