Hometown favorite Wilson enjoys BMW spotlight
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.”