Rookie diary: The trials of Tour travel

(Editor’s note: Chris Wilson tied for 61st at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, earning $7,812. Wilson has made three of five cuts this season and has earned $33,360. He is 155th on the money list.)

Feb. 21, 2010

Hola from Mexico. I am leaving early Monday morning from the Cancun airport for Arizona.

The Fairmont Resort at Mayakoba was really a neat place this week. I have been to Mexico one other time, not for golf, but as part of a cruise and enjoyed it very much. There was not a whole lot of sightseeing time this week, just because of the way the tee times fell and the proximity to some of the activities, not to mention trying to find my golf clubs for 24 hours after I landed. I played mediocre golf this week and was close to playing pretty well, but got a little inconsistent in spots. I am going to chalk it up as another experience on “the weekend.”

Next week the PGA Tour heads to Scottsdale for the Waste Management Open. The travel plans got sort of messed up for most guys because Sunday’s tee times were a lot later than most expected. I missed a 4:15 p.m. flight and had to rebook everything, including another hotel night in Cancun. (I know, poor me.) Most guys use a service called PGA Tour Travel, but some still use good, ol’ Orbitz or Expedia. The most fortunate can fly private, which I almost did for the first time in my life today coming back from Cancun.

I can definitely see where traveling on a G5 and not dealing with airport hassle could be worth the extra price if you can afford it. Turns out I am leaving tomorrow morning and heading to Phoenix. I am going to be an alternate for the first time this year. Here is how the whole alternate thing works:

Wilson’s Rookie Diary

Ever wonder what life is like for a PGA Tour rookie? Well, Chris Wilson is here to tell you. Wilson, 25, will file a weekly diary on Golfweek.com to give you an insider’s view of the PGA Tour. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/TheRealCWilSon.

There is a Web site for PGA Tour players called PGA Tour Links where we can access everything from our stats to where we stand on a tournament list, etc. Earlier this week I was 148th out of 144 players for the Waste Management Open, meaning I was fourth alternate in a field of 144 players.

As the week went on, I moved up to 146th, which is where I currently stand. The only other factor that could impact my standing are the top 10 finishers from Mayakoba. If a player finishes in the top 10, he gets into the following week’s event. To my knowledge, there were four players in the top 10 this week who were not already exempt for next week, making my new number 150th out of 144. I have been told that I have an outside shot at getting in. (Fingers crossed everyone.)

If I get in, I’ll obviously play (can’t wait for No. 16 there!) And if I do not, I’ll most likely fly home to Columbus, Ohio, for the first time since New Year’s (which will be OK, too). Five out of six weeks is a lot of golf, but the good news is I don’t feel tired or burnt out at all. I am having a blast and just hoping for a little better golf in the next stretch.

All in all, it was a week full of experience, another made cut and a quick brush-up on my Spanish. And now I’m off to learn what being an alternate is all about.

Adios from Mexico.

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