It seems more than a little crazy that prior to Sunday, peashooter Mark Wilson had more career wins than the flashy Hunter Mahan (5 to 4).  It’s thanks to flashy white belts, long hair, sunglasses, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader hot blonde wife, Twitter, and a flubbed chip at the Ryder Cup that we have known Hunter exponentially better for years than we have Mark.  After Sunday, well I guess we know Hunter even better.

Hunter’s propensity to go “stupid” low in final rounds has been the key to his first three PGA Tour victories, as well as his WGC Match Play victory this February where he defeated Rory McIlroy with a murderous birdie plethora in the final round.  This week at the Shell Houston Open we saw something that we’ve never before seen him do- maintain a lead and win.

After Louis Oosthuizen’s front nine meltdown, it became Hunter’s tourney to lose.  Despite the weekly announcer’s jinx on the par 3 14th (Dan Hicks and NBC crew noted how Hunter had not missed a green in regulation all day while standing on the 14th tee, which he then of course promptly dumped it in the bunker and made bogey), Hunter played like a wiley veteran down the stretch to notch his 5th career victory.

The victory no doubt will be a massive confidence booster for Hunter, and sets him up with some seriously heavy momentum for driving down Magnolia Lane this week.  As long as he avoids the massive hosel rockets (sorry Hunter, had to throw that video in there, just can’t get enough of it), it’d be a surprise to not see Hunter in contention at Augusta on Sunday.

Joel Harrington