NAPA, Calif. – Will Wilcox has had rotten luck recently with rental cars.
Six weeks ago he suffered a knee bruise while trying to slide into the driver's seat. That careless move ended his playoff run and his season.
On Wednesday morning, Wilcox received a call from the front desk of his hotel that his white Mercedes sedan courtesy car had been broken into and that some of his belongings were missing.
“I was freaking out at first,” he said Thursday, “just sprinting down the steps, because I thought it was going to be my clubs and that would have been the worst thing ever.”
His clubs were safely in the trunk, but the robbers made off with his travel bag and two brand-new pairs of shoes. Wilcox said his was one of five or six cars that were smashed in the parking lot.
“Driving out here there was glass flying around in the car,” he said, “because it was everywhere.”
Wilcox, now wearing the only pair of shoes that he still has, shook off the incident at the Frys.com Open, opening up with 30 before settling for a 4-under 68.
Oof looks like there were some ruffians about last night at the hotel pic.twitter.com/2Cp4hq0SUq— Will Wilcox (@willwilcoxgolf) October 14, 2015
It was his first start since Aug. 30, when he missed the cut at the Barclays.
A few days later, while in Atlanta for a fundraising tournament, Wilcox slammed his right knee into the dashboard of his rental car. After seeing little improvement with treatment, he was diagnosed with deep bruising to his patellar tendon. He withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship and, at No. 89 in the FedEx Cup standings, ended his season.
With an extended offseason, he headed to the Caribbean for four weeks of rest and relaxation.
“But I had to get back in the swing of things,” he said. “If I take more than four days off, it gets pretty rusty. Eight days ago, I could barely keep it on the planet. … I get nervous. I don’t want to embarrass myself out here.”
Wilcox had the best season of his career in 2014-15, recording four top-10s and nine top-25s in 17 starts.