Wilson's career is snowballing

Hottest player on tour sees no reason to stop now

February 10, 2011

Apparently not satisfied with simply grabbing a commanding early lead in the FedEx Cup standings, Mark Wilson might be going after "ironman" honors as well.

Victories in Hawaii and Phoenix qualified Wilson's schedule for an upgrade, earning his first Masters berth as well as entries into two World Golf Championships events and the U.S. Open.

Two of those had been weeks Wilson planned to take off. At the same time, he doesn't want to abandon tournaments he usually supports.

His solution: Just keep playing.

"I keep saying we have to take a week off somewhere, where are we going to do that?" Wilson said after Monday's triumph in Phoenix. "Then I see the snowstorm (back home) in Chicago, and it's like, why do I need to go back there? There's no reason."

As it stands, Wilson plans to play the final three weeks of the West Coast swing and all four of the Florida swing.

He will take a week off before heading to Augusta National.

"Just ride this train as long as I can," he said.

Not flight ready: Fred Couples' decision on where to play next week — defend his Champions Tour crown in Naples, Fla., or return to the Northern Trust Open at one of his favorite venues (Riviera) — may turn out to be no decision at all.

Thanks to a flare-up of his back woes, Couples isn't keen on playing anywhere he can't drive to from his California home.

"I don't think I'm good enough to get on a plane," said Couples, who tied for 41st in Phoenix last week. He had an appointment Wednesday with a San Diego specialist to figure out why it won't loosen up.

Oddly enough, Couples said he's affected more when hitting short irons than when he unleashes one of his booming drives.

Tap-ins: Though retired from LPGA competition, Lorena Ochoa is keeping a high profile. Last weekend, the Mexican icon accepted the USGA's highest honor, the Bob Jones Award. Later this month, she will play in the pro-am for the PGA Tour's Mayakoba Golf Classic near Cancun. … Jim Colbert will become the ninth man to make 500 Champions Tour starts when he tees it up at this week's Allianz Championship. He was the circuit's player of the year in 1995 and '96. … Jim Hyler was elected to a second one-year term as USGA president.

— Jeff Shain

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