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Dean Wilson PGA Tour Biography – "Life and Times-Line"

Dean Wilson, won The International, 2006 (PGA Tour) CASTLE ROCK, Colorado with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at The INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, to beat Tom Lehman and take the $990,000 winner’s check. The unique Stableford scoring system, which rewards birdies and eagles far more than bogeys made the difference for Dean Wilson, who would have lost to Tom Lehman by 4 strokes (-13 to -9) if the standard stroke play scoring method were used.

This tournament win allows the 36 year-old first-time winner to escape the shadow of his previous distinction as being a golfer paired with Sorenstam when she became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA TOUR at the 2003 Bank of America Colonial.

As we learned though, there is much more to the life of Dean Wilson than those two weeks of his career. Read on to explore the timeline of the life of PGA Tour star Dean Wilson and learn some interesting facts about him concerning college stunts, bull riding, and “turning Japanese.”

1969 Born Dean Wilson on December 17th in Kaneohe (Kane’ohe), HI on the island of Oahu
1982 Learned golf from his mother, Grace, a 15-handicap schoolteacher. She would take him to Pali Golf Course, a scrappy municipal course near their home. Dean had difficulty with golf, though we was a natural athlete in other sports. He latched onto the challenge of golf and gave up playing all other sports.

Random Fact – Advice to young golfers – Work hard, don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t achieve what you want to achieve, and have fun. Even though Dean is well established on the PGA Tour with his win and the subsequent 2 year exemption, he still practices golf every day

1987 Wilson never ventured to the mainland as a junior golfer. Dean said, “There is an internal battle that you have with trying to compete with everyone else on the mainland. When I said I wanted to (play on TOUR) and that was my goal, it seems like I heard a lot of people saying it can’t be done. You can’t beat those guys, they’re so good.”

Random Fact: Believes David Ishii to be the best Hawaiian golfer ever.

1988 Wilson wasn’t good enough at Castle high school to get a college scholarship began his college career on a partial scholarship at BYU’s Hawaii campus.
1989 Transferred to the main campus in Provo, Utah, where he was teammates with Mike Weir. Dean sat out most of his sophomore year. Dean was a range-hound on the order of Vijay Singh and a devotee of Ben Hogan, Wilson worked hard to keep up with his teammates, and it paid off as he finally earned a starting spot. Dean always felt like the underdog. Dean said, “Whether it was high school or college, there was always someone better than me and it really motivated me.”

Random Fact – Wilson was a bit of a prankster as an undergraduate: Once, on a dare, he ate an entire bunch of bananas while waiting in an all-you-can-eat buffet line.

1990 Won the Western Athletic Conference individual title.

Random Fact – Was obsessed with the feat of doing a back-flip in college. He began hanging out with the Brigham Young University gymnastics team between golf practices and earned the nickname “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” (His current nickname is “Dean the machine”). Mike Weir recalls, “One day we’re out practicing on the range and [Dean] comes out and does a complete back flip, wearing golf shoes, and lands on his feet.”

1992
  • Graduated with degree in secondary education. Teaching would be his safety net if the Tour didn’t work out. “The way I looked at it was, if I didn’t make a living playing golf, I could be a teacher and play a lot of golf in the summer,” he says.
  • Believed he wasn’t good enough at Brigham Young to jump right to the PGA TOUR after graduation so he took a job with Robert McArthur, head pro at BYU’s home course, Riverside Country Club. He traded playing privileges for working at the club.
  • Mike Weir convinces Wilson to enter the Australasian Tour’s qualifying school. Wilson qualified.
1993-1995 played in Australia in the winter and on the Canadian Tour in the summer for the next few years. Dean did not make much impact on either circuit.
1996 Played Nationwide tour with limited success
1997
  • Rookie of the Year (Asian Golf Tour)
  • Waikoloa Open- Champion
  • Kauai Open- Champion

Random Fact – Best round ever playing golf was a 58, 14-under par

1998
  • Waikoloa Open- Champion
  • Kauai Open- Champion
  • Sports Shinko Open- Champion
1999
  • Played Nationwide tour with limited success
  • Provo Open- Champion
  • Alaska Open- Champion
  • Utah Open- Champion

Random Fact – Dean likes all extreme sports, including surfing, cliff skiing, and sky diving.

2000
  • Decided to try the Japan Tour. The decision was based on the large number of events and relatively high purses, not because of his heritage (his mother is a third-generation Japanese American.) He qualified, but was not fully exempt.
  • Started first season on Japan tour with seven missed cuts.
  • AIFUL Cup- Champion (Japan Golf Tour) with only two exemptions remaining. Dean celebrated receiving his $166,000 winner’s check by flying to Utah, changing his clothes, and heading to his old course at Riverside to wash golf carts and joke with the staff until the wee hours of the night.
  • Rookie of the Year (Japan Golf Tour). Dean Wilson’s swing coach, Mike Wilson attributed his turnaround to becoming less of a perfectionist with his swing and concentrating on using his creativity and mind to score better. Wilson described his philosophy the first half of the year to “thinking about walking rather than just walking. I started to figure out that when I throw mechanics into it, it doesn’t work, and when I think about it, I play my worst.”

Random Fact – What is in Dean’s Bag Today?

  • Callaway VFT 8 degree Driver
  • Callaway 3+ & 5 Wood
  • Callaway X-14 PRO Series (S400 DYN. Gold) Irons
  • Odyssey #5 Putter
  • Callaway Red Ball
2001
  • Hilo Invitational Open- Champion
  • PGA Championship- Champion (Japan Golf Tour)
  • Qualified for the U.S. Open at Southern Hills C.C in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Finished T-30 (71-74-72-71—-288)
  • Qualified for the British Open (Missed Cut)
  • PGA Matchplay Championship Promis Cup – Champion (Japan Golf Tour)
  • UBE Kosan Open – Champion (Japan Golf Tour)

Random Fact – He won six events, earned more than $2 million, and rose to 56th in the World Rankings by the end of 2002. Dean Wilson was the richest and most accomplished PGA Tour rookie you’ve never heard of… until Todd Hamilton.

2002
  • Gained Entry to Sony Open on US PGA Tour and finished 23rd
  • Hilo Invitational Pro-Am & Golf Tournament- Champion
  • Tsuruya Open – Champion (Japan Golf Tour)
  • Mizuno Open – Champion (Japan Golf Tour)

Random Fact – Dean attributes his successes in golf to his shot-making ability inside of 100 yards.

2003
  • Dean enjoyed his time in Japan, but still felt relatively unfulfilled. Wilson said, “As a kid I never dreamed of winning Japanese tournaments, I dreamed of winning PGA Tour tournaments.”
  • Dean channeled this restlessness and qualified for the PGA tour on his 8th attempt, drawing on his two previous successful tournaments at the Sony and US Opens. Finished T11 (69-65-68-77-72-69–420, 12-under-par) When asked what goals he had for the year, he replied, “I don’t have any goals”
  • Chrysler Classic of Tucson (PGA Tour), T6
  • Wachovia Championship (PGA Tour), T7
  • Colonial – Paired with Annika Sorenstam. Was a supporter of her playing in the tournament, which earned him the ill will of Vijay Singh. Enjoyed experience that came from playing with her under intense media exposure, but later said, ‘Dang it, I got to win a tournament so I can be known for something else.”‘
  • Kept all-exempt status on PGA tour by finishing 98th on the Money List with $654,345

Random Fact – Dean’s goal now is that when he retires, he wants to “Count money and stack trophies”

2004
  • Fully exempt status as PGA Tour Member
  • Valero Texas Open (PGA Tour), T3

Random Fact – Now lives in Las Vegas, NV

2005
  • Successfully re-qualified for the PGA Tour with a T13 at 2004 Q-School, 68-70-69-73-71-72–423
  • Barclays Classic (PGA Tour), 6th
  • U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee (PGA Tour), T9
  • Reno-Tahoe Open (PGA Tour), T9
  • Valero Texas Open- (PGA Tour), 7th

Random Fact – Dean loves any sport involving bulls – Bull riding both real and mechanical bulls or just running with the bulls (in Pamplona)

2006
  • FBR Open (PGA Tour), T10
  • Nissan Open (PGA Tour), T7
  • Bay Hill Invitational (PGA Tour), T10
  • U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee (PGA Tour), T9
  • The International in Denver, Colorado, Champion – Congratulations, Dean

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