Wilson Heads Home

Back to the gas station after genuine "Cinderella story" at Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Amateur golfer Steve Wilson ended his unlikely journey from gas station to green jacket when the station owner failed to make the cut at the U.S. Masters golf tournament on Friday in Augusta, Ga., reported Reuters. The 39-year-old shot rounds of 79 and 75 but left Augusta National with some magical memories, highlighted by his nine-year-old son caddying for him in the pre-tournament, par-three championship.

For Wilson (pictured at the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur), who has never earned a single dollar on the PGA Tour, the memories were as priceless as a Masters [image-nocss] Green Jacket as he prepared to return home to Gautier, Miss., where he will be back at work on Saturday manning the deli counter and pumping fuel.

"I'm heading home. I've been gone a long time, I'm ready to get back," he told reporters. "It's been a lot of fun, a wonderful experience. "It's what I thought it would be, a great fun time, and now I go back to the real world. I'll be back to work tomorrow, 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., like normal."

After bouncing around golf's minor circuits for 10 years without success, Wilson traded in his dream of playing on the PGA Tour for a part-ownership in a gas station and to raise a family, according to the report. The golf itch remained, though, and after having his amateur status returned he secured a Masters invitation with victory at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in September.

Wilson, who donated to a youth club the $5,000 raised by friends to help defray his Masters costs, said his journey to Augusta was a one-time experience. "It was a dream come true," he said after partnering twice Masters champion Tom Watson and Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter. "Nerves were the same both days on every shot, it never goes away. I guess that is just what playing in the Masters feels like. They are still the same mistakes. The short game is my weakness and it always is, I guess I'm not enthusiastic enough about golf to work on it like I should. So I'm still in the same spot I was before I came here."

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