England’s Oliver Wilson admits The Royal Trophy will provide a welcome break from his quest to secure a maiden victory on The European Tour.
The 28 year old from Mansfield finished runner-up five times in 2008 – four in the 2008 season and once in the 2009 campaign – to leave him still searching for a first professional victory.
However, refreshed from a month-long break, Wilson is looking to build on a promising 2008 which saw him make his Ryder Cup debut and finish 11th on The European Tour Order of Merit.
“It’d be nice to get a couple of wins this year,” said Wilson ahead of The Royal Trophy at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Obviously one would be nice – I think that’ll happen this year. I want to win The Race to Dubai – it’d be nice to win that this first year. I’m off to a good start, and I feel like my game is more consistent than it was last year.”
Wilson currently lies second behind Spain’s Sergio Garcia in The Race to Dubai table after finishing sixth and second in his two tournaments on the 2009 Schedule.
Following his second place at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November, Wilson has now finished runner-up nine times in his career.
But he is confident a new physical regime will improve the consistency of his swing, and he will reap the rewards with improved results.
“If I bring the base level of my golf swing up to where everything else is, then I’m going to be in contention every week and that’s obviously the goal,” he added.
The first victory could even come in a Major Championship, according to Wilson, who admitted he performed poorly in the top events last term.
“I’m pretty confident,” he said. “Who knows, my first win might be a Major. I know I can get myself up there.”
The Masters Tournament in April would be the perfect place for Wilson – an Augusta State University graduate – to break his duck.
“That’s the highlight, so far, for this coming year – I can’t wait,” said Wilson, who plans to call in a few favours to earn extra practice time at Augusta National ahead of the first Major of 2009.
“I’ve got a lot of good wishes from people in Augusta, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and getting a few practice rounds in beforehand.
“I've got a few lined up – I’ve had a few offers. I’ll try to get out there as much as I can, and I’ll see how many Members I can tap up.”
For now, Wilson is focused on helping Europe defeat Asia to claim a third successive victory in The Royal Trophy.
He will be partnered by big hitting Englishman Nick Dougherty in the opening day’s foursomes, and is looking forward to facing Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and South Korea’s SK Ho.
“I’m happy to be playing with Nick,” he added. “I’m going to be playing from positions I’m not used to. I played nine holes with him yesterday, and he was hitting it miles. So I’m looking forward to it, lots of short irons and stuff.”