Can Wilson pull off an Aussie Seniors PGA upset?
MARK Wilson will have a big home advantage when he tees off today in the $80,000 Polygiene Australian Seniors PGA Championship at the Byron Bay Golf Club.
As the only local he is sure to enjoy crowd support but it his local knowledge that will give him a leg-up against the 76-player field.
The Byron Bay club captain and former professional was the ideas man behind the course upgrade.
“I've been doing design work at the course – the new lakes, new holes, that's my work,” Wilson said.
“I think I changed about 14 holes.
“It just came to me. (Imagining it) was just like looking at pictures.”
The designs received rave reviews from visiting professionals and PGA officials during the tournament last year.
But Wilson said his intimate knowledge of the course would not help him against the country's best senior golfers.
“There's not much of a story (about me),” he said.
“The quality of these guys is absolutely top-notch.”
A former police officer with the armed hold-up squad, Wilson turned pro and played in tournaments and pro-ams on his holidays and days off for about 10 years.
He always planned to join the seniors circuit as soon as he turned 50 but has been suffering from vertigo for four years.
Now 53, Wilson said he was just happy to be playing good golf and enjoying his game.
“It has taken me about 12 months to get my game back in order,” he said.
“I'm actually starting to play pretty good.
“I'm not overly enthusiastic (about my chances) but I'm starting to play good again so I'm looking forward to it.”
It also helps that he has been getting lessons and pointers from the likes of Dave Saunders, Michael Ferguson and Jeff Woodland.
“I haven't really done that flash but I didn't expect to in my first year on the tour,” he said.
“I'm working with these guys and been getting some good help.
“It's all coming together.
“But at this level it takes time to get things going.”