2018 Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Copyright 2018 Christian Petersen / Getty Images

With the new PGA TOUR season underway, I want to update all of you on my plans. The past two seasons I played out of the past champion category on the PGA TOUR which gave me limited starts. Numerous tournaments graciously extended me spots in their events including the OHL Mayakoba Classic, Sony Open in Hawaii, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Honda Classic, Travelers Championship and John Deere Classic. I am forever grateful for their generosity in allowing me to continue my dream of playing against the best golfers in the world. If you have been following me, you know the results have not been even close to what I am striving for. I have been working my tail off plus racking my mind to find the combination that helped me enjoy so many top finishes during my 15 year PGA TOUR career.

The John Deere Classic was a highlight for me this season as I felt my game was pretty good, and I had loads of fun as many family and friends followed me throughout the event. Ultimately I finished 6 under par in a tie for 63rd place so not where I’d like to reside. If that is what I felt was good playing, well, it might be time to consider something else I can do with my love for the game of golf. One thing that has always interested me is doing television commentary.

I am excited to announce that I will be on The Golf Channel’s Golf Central program during the days leading up to the OHL Mayakoba Classic (November 6-7). PGA TOUR Live has also showed interest as I will be a commentator on a couple of their broadcasts in the early part of 2019. I am super excited to add value to these broadcasts with all of my years competing at golf, including growing up in the Tiger Woods era and boy was that thrilling to see those fans follow him in at the 18th hole at the TOUR Championship.

My past champion PGA TOUR status will still afford me the opportunity to compete when my number is called, and I will certainly take advantage of that because I love competing out there against the best golfers in the world. I thought that was going to be this week at the Sanderson Farms Championship but as I write, I am 6th alternate so likely not going to be teeing it up in Jackson, MS. That means my next PGA TOUR competition will be the 2019 CareerBuilder Challenge, which grants their winners a 10 years exemption. My 2012 win will get me in through 2022 in La Quinta, CA, which might be the best place to be in the continental United States in January.

In the mean time, I am working on my game and enjoying a bit of normalcy at home while still being shaped by God on a daily basis. I feel like I get knocked down every day, but remembering what Jesus did for me and mankind helps me get back up. I am following my Wisconsin sports teams and was thrilled to watch the Milwaukee Brewers’ run in the MLB Playoffs. The World Series would have been fun, but I’m hoping the organization looks back at the year with lots of satisfaction. The Bucks have opened up the season in a new arena and Aaron Rodgers never disappoints with his fourth quarter heroics. On Wisconsin!

One other thing I have to mention is that my friend and PGA TOUR winner Billy Hurley recently invited me to join him as his friend John Ballbach hosted a guy’s trip to Pine Valley Golf Club. I am still knocking off sand from my shoes a week later. What a true test of golf and amazing walk through history.

At home, my three sons are involved in football, baseball, golf, Cub Scouts and hip hop dancing (to clarify they aren’t all doing all of those things) so watching them and participating along with these activities has been fun. Being the hometown announcer for Lane’s Eagles football team even got me some practice in front of the microphone. Amy is heavily involved in things at church and our boys’ school, plus is often times breaking 100 for 18 holes now. Our bet of 2 strokes a hole has been altered.

Have a great Fall and hopefully you can get some more swings in outdoors before the Winter.

Mark Wilson

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