Queenslander Steve Bowditch continued his Texas love affair today, storming to the first-round Byron Nelson Classic lead with an equal career-low 62.
Bowditch, 31, rolled in eight blemish-free birdies to lead by two shots at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving from Jimmy Walker, with a host of other Australians in contention.
John Senden and Cam Percy fired three-under-par 67s to sit T8, while fellow veterans Greg Chalmers and Rod Pampling each shot 69 to be T33.
Marc Leishman shot an even-par 70, Aaron Baddeley a 71, Matt Jones a 72, Geoff Ogilvy a 73 and Robert Allenby a 76, but the day belonged to their fun-loving compatriot.
Bowditch, who’s married to a Texan, has lived in the Dallas are for 10 years while playing the PGA’s secondary and main tours.
“I basically threw a dart at the map when I first came over here in 2005 and then ended up marrying me a Texan, so I’m stuck now,” he joked.
His first win on the PGA Tour came at last year’s Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
Bowditch said the Byron Nelson felt like a “home event” with so many friends and family in the crowd, but attributed his success to a change in his putting.
Feeling that his putter was a little light, he added 10 grams to his Bettinardi blade on Wednesday, and received an immediate payoff.
Bowditch rolled in a birdie putt of 24 feet on his opening hole, and made two other birdies putts from 30 and 29 feet before making the turn. He also added an 18-footer for birdie coming in.
While he’s had other rounds with better ball-striking, Bowditch said this was his finest round on Tour for distance putting.
“I typically don’t make a lot of longer putts,” Bowditch said.