Take a bow: Steven Bowditch secures maiden PGA win
Steven Bowditch conquered the windy conditions and overcame a few moments of nervousness to hold his overnight lead and claim his first PGA Tour victory at the Valero Texas Open.
The man from Australia took a three shot lead into the final round – before being made to sweat when bogeying the second and double bogeying the fourth. However, he held his nerve and birdied two holes before a bogey on the 18th was enough to secure the $1,116,000 winning purse.
Bowditch finished the tournament a rather mild eight under, but despite that earned a final round of four over 76 and was the highest closing scorer winner since Vijay Singh finished with the same score in the 2004 PGA Championship.
A happy Bowditch said after the game: "I'm over the moon, I really can't believe it.”
The 30-year-old has fought depression most of his career and even attempted suicide in 2006, so this was a great moment for the player.
"I've got no idea (how I got through it) to be honest,” he continued.
"I just drew back on some experience and got some advice from different people. It just happened to be my week, I guess."
Bowditch is currently ranked 339th in the world and with this victory has achieved only his third top ten finish in eight years on the tour. The win also earns him entry into the Masters at Augusta in April.
"Every time I got out of check, looking ahead to the Masters and winning golf events and making my speeches before I was finished, I had to pull myself in check every time. And it happened a lot today," grinned Bowditch.
It’s been a good week for Australian golfers, with Bowditch becoming the second successful Aussie in as many weeks following John Senden’s victory at the Valspar Championship.
"He's been a battler. He's gone through a lot in his life," said Senden, who waited for around an hour after his round to shake Bowditch’s hand.
"That last putt wasn't his best, but to finish it off he was as cool as a cucumber really. I'm proud to be his mate."