Date: June 01, 2015
Author: Martin Blake

Bowditch salutes in Texas

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Steven Bowditch held firm on a dramatic final day to win the Byron Nelson tournament on the United States PGA Tour today, his second tour victory.

Bowditch, 31, had recorded just one top-10 finish since his maiden triumph, the Valero Texas Open last year.

But starting the day two shots clear, he carded a 64 to win by four shots at a venue where he and his wife Amanda Yarussi celebrated their wedding four years ago.

The Queenslander, who lives in Dallas, Texas near the tournament venue of TPC Four Seasons, closed superbly.

He nailed a long par-saving putt after finding the back bunker at the par-four 15th hole, then made a great birdie from beside the green at the par-five 16th after tugging his approach. That made the margin three shots, and then at the par-three 17th, he thought that he had flared his tee shot into the water that guards the right of the green.

Destiny was with him. The shot cleared the water narrowly and stopped on the right fringe. Bowditch rolled in the birdie putt that sealed the deal, leaving him with a four-shot lead going up the 18th hole.

At 18, he striped his drive over the water and into the fairway, almost made birdie from the fringe of the green, then tapped in from a few centimetres for the win.

He pockets $US1.278 million, and gets a further two-year exemption to play on the US Tour.

Bowditch, a brilliant rather than steady player, is unpredictable. After his win in the Texas Open last year and his first appearance at the Masters, where he was tied-26th, his world ranking slid to 127th.

But his best is quite something. "When it's good, it's good,'' he said. "When it's not, I'm just trying to hang on.''

Bowditch played alongside Dustin Johnson, one of the world's best players, and outplayed him, rarely looking flustered. At one point during the back nine, he signed an autograph for a fan; at one green, he yawned. But it was a mirage. "Moving a mile a minute,'' was his own description of his mindset. "I wasn't really at ease.''

His American wife was waiting behind the 18th green, where their wedding photographs were taken just a few years ago.

“This is a pretty special place for myself and my wife,’’ he said. “We took some wedding pictures here. Now I get to take some more pictures here!’’

Bowditch is the second Australian to win on the US Tour this year, behind Jason Day.

Meanwhile Karrie Webb had her best result for some time on the LPGA Tour this morning, finishing tied-fifth in the Shoprite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.

Veteran Richard Green finished tied-10th in the European Tour’s Irish Open behind Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.