Hometown favorite Wilson enjoys BMW spotlight

Mark Wilson doffs his cap to the crowd after finishing his second round at the BMW Championship.
Mark Wilson doffs his cap to the crowd after finishing his second round at the BMW Championship. ( Associated Press )

Saturday, September 17, 2011

LEMONT, Ill. – BMW Championship midway co-leader Mark Wilson shot 66, went to the range and, using three drivers with different weights, pounded 45 drives about as hard as he could.

That’s it. Nothing else. Forty-five drives in about 15 minutes and then a 25-minute drive home to Elmhurst.

“I’m good to go,” Wilson, who shares the lead with Justin Rose at 11-under 131, said before leaving.

There’s a method to the practice. Wilson was given the regimen by Greg Rose of the Titleist Performance Institute. Studies show that it can help a player pick up speed in his swing, said Wilson, who ranks No. 137 on Tour in driving distance, at 277.8 yards.

Here’s how it works:

Wilson teed up five balls in a row. Then he stepped in and hit one drive after another with a driver 10 grams heavier than his normal club. He repeated the five-ball practice three times with the heavy driver, hitting 15 total.

Then he did the same thing with a driver 10 grams lighter than usual, and finished off with 15 drives with his regular driver.

Wilson said he would tee up 15 balls in a row if it didn’t look so odd. He said some other players also follow that three-driver routine, though some do it away from Tour sites.

“I hit it as hard as I can and don’t care where it goes,” Wilson said.

That, of course, was hardly the case over the previous five hours. He followed his opening 65 with a 66 on a chilly day with no wind and plenty of spectators on his side at Cog Hill. Playing on one of his two so-called home courses, Wilson played in front of about 100 people he knows by name and many more who yelled “Elmhurst!” when he hit a good shot.

“Just everything came pretty easily,” said Wilson, who won twice early in the year. “I feel at peace out there. I feel very comfortable. ... My mind is in a better place, and I’m just kind of accepting the results. Whatever happens, happens.”

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