Bowditch sticks to schedule in Houston
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Shell Houston Open | Preview | 02 Apr 2014
Perhaps a little surprisingly, Steven Bowditch has not taken this week off to prepare for the Masters but instead will play the Shell Houston Open as his final lead-up to his debut appearance at Augusta National.
“I entered to play at Redstone and it was on my schedule up until now and I wasn’t really keen on paying a fine for withdrawing,” he said during an at times light hearted teleconference to an audience Australian golfing journalists this morning.
Bowditch drove six hours from San Antonio to his home in Dallas on Sunday night following his victory at the Valero Texas Open, then drove three hours back to Houston today (Tuesday) for this week’s Houston Open at the Redstone Golf Club in Humble near Houston.
“I had a chance to reflect today during my drive down here and what it means and the doors that will open.
“It didn’t necessarily dream of winning on the PGA Tour but the goal I had had since I got over here in 2006 was to have my full tour card by the time I was 30 years of age so it is very rewarding.”
While on paper his victory appeared to have come out of the blue, he indicated his form had not been as bad as it appeared.
“I don’t know about potentially winning but I had been playing well all year. My iron play – I was hitting a lot close and creating more birdie opportunities than I normally do but I had not been getting a lot out of it and was getting frustrated. I went out and sought a little help with my mental side last week before I played so I don’t think it is a coincidence. I wasn’t going in there to win but I knew I was playing well and confident in what I was doing but the scores just weren’t showing yet.
“When I have played well before I felt like I was in complete control. Last week I didn’t quite have that. My swing felt pretty good but my putter felt terrible all week. I changed putter after my round on Thursday deciding I would go back to my old putter to get comfortable.”
Clearly this was a win that went to the top of the pile as far as achievements in the game but when asked if there was another that had meant a lot to him he said; “Probably the win at Soboba Classic (Web.Com Tour) after I had been playing so bad – to be able to get back on the PGA Tour was a pretty big deal in my eyes. To have gone through a lot of stuff at that time and keep battling and then know there was a light at the end of the tunnel in my golf game.”
He is booked in for a practice round with Adam Scott, Oliver Goss and John Senden next Tuesday, an arrangement put together by Scott who texted Bowditch yesterday. “I hope it was him anyway,” joked Bowditch aware of the fact that Monday was April Fool’s Day. "You can’t get much better help than the defending champion."
His only exposure to Augusta National has been watching it on television with his Dad during his junior golfing years or playing it on Play Station. The last time he played it there he shot 28 under.
“I haven’t really had a lot of time to think about playing there and think it will all dawn on me when I pick the family up from the airport (in Atlanta) and drive down there.”
Australian caddy, Mike Brennan, a former professional golfer now on his bag, is also excited about not only about the win but the opportunity to caddy at the Masters. Bowditch, however, took advantage of April Fool’s Day to play a trick on Brennan. “I told Mike today that he would not be able to caddy for me next week as I wanted my Dad on the bag. I let him stew over it for half an hour or so then I had to tell him as he went pale for a bit.”