Date: October 13, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Aussies start well in US

n style=”color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11px;”>Australians made a strong start to the new United States PGA Tour season, with Queenslander Steven Bowditch charging home for a second-place finish, and veteran Victorian Robert Allenby logging his first top-10 finish since June, 2013.

Bowditch, who won his first tournament on the tour in March, carded a final-round 67 in the Open at Silverado Country Club in Napa, California to narrowly miss out after jumping 12 places on the leaderboard on the final day.

Bowditch picked up four shots in the final five holes and held the clubhouse lead when he finished, but South Korea’s Sang-Moon Bae, two shots ahead as he plotted around the back nine, held firm over the closing holes to complete the victory by two shots, finishing at 15-under.

Allenby carded a final-round 70 to finish tied-eighth, from shots from Bae. The Victorian did not have a top-10 finish in 29 tournaments last season, and his most recent top-10 was at the St Jude Classic in June, 2013.

The 43-year-old used a one-off career earnings exemption to play on the tour last year and was the 125th and last player into the playoffs for the Fedex Cup.

His world ranking had slipped to 403rd last week against a career-high of 12th just four years ago, such has been the malaise in his game.

Cam Percy finished tied-26th and Jarrod Lyle and Aaron Baddeley were tied-31st in California.

Lyle deemed his return after two years and a second bout with serious illness a success. He has a sponsor's invitation to play again next week.

"To come here without a tournament to play, and then get through on the Monday (qualifier) and make the cut and play reasonable golf for four days, I couldn’t ask for anything better," he said. "It's something to build on for the rest of the year."

Perth’s Michael Sim finished sixth in the Nanshan International on the One Asia Tour over the weekend.