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September 14 2011

9:35 PM

Toms hanging tough with big hitters

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

LEMONT, Ill. -- David Toms will never be confused with J.B. Holmes or Dustin Johnson or Gary Woodland.

After all, the 44-year-old from Louisiana ranks 177th in driving distance, averaging 279 yards. That's 39.4 yards behind Holmes, who leads the TOUR, and well behind the other 23 players who top the 300-mark like Johnson and Woodland.

Toms Toms, who is in his 19th year on the PGA TOUR, has had plenty of time to come to grips with this disparity. But he admits he would still love to find the magic potion -- or the consummate driver -- that would give him added distance off the tee.

"I chase it every week," he said candidly. "It seems like I ask for another driver every week and always go back to the same one. It's just such an advantage on the courses that we play."

Toms' wife Sonya is the voice of reason, though. She's quick to point out that Toms has had an enviable career with 13 wins, including the 2001 PGA and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial earlier this year. He enters this week's BMW Championship ranked 20th in the FedExCup and 10th in the Presidents Cup, too.

"You try not to take golf home from the golf course, and a lot of times my wife has set me straight," Toms acknowledged. "Well, you've done plenty good with the way you've played for so long, so you're not doing yourself any justice to try to go out there and either change your golf swing or go to a longer driver or whatever. You've just got to really do the things that you do well and do them extremely well."

Just when his wife thinks she's got Toms convinced, though, he goes out and plays with Bubba Watson, who ranks second in driving distance, at the Deutsche Bank Championship. And then his son Carter starts asking what Watson does to hit the ball so far.

"I said, 'Don't worry about your swing, you need to go to the weight room,' and that's when she went off on me again," Toms said. "She's like, will you get off of that? I'm like, okay, whatever. What are you going to do?"

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