It wasn’t a pretty finish to The Valero Texas Open, but 30 year-old Aussie Stephen Bowditch hangs on for his first tour win at one of the PGA Tour’s oldest tournaments. Bowditch said he had to continually force his mind back from making speeches, going to the Masters, and all of the thoughts that creep into a mind that is on the verge of winning his first tour event.
Firing a 4 over 76 in the final round at TPC San Antonio, Stephen Bowditch limped in with the highest winning score in any tour event since Vijay Singh won the 2004 PGA Championship with a four over 76.
A bogey on the 72nd hole secured the one-shot victory over the closest contenders, Daniel Summerhays and Will Mackenkie who managed a finishing round score in the 60’s.
“I’m over the moon. I really can’t believe it,” said Bowditch, who attempted suicide in 2006 and has fought depression throughout his career.
“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,” said Bowditch, wearing a green shirt. “And it happened a lot today.”
Matt Kuchar, who played in the final group with Bowditch, and Andrew Loupe seemed to be rattled by the slow play of Loupe, and was continually being hasseled by the official who was timing players in the group. Both Kuchar and Loupe fired 75’s on the afternoon, but only finished two strokes back.
I question the PGA’s enforcement of the slow-play rules. The conditions at TPC San Antonio were windy, and forced players to take more caution between shots trying to figure wind directions. Don’t get me wrong here, I think it’s a problem they need to deal with, by why start in these kind of conditions?
“I felt enough rushed, I felt like it led to a couple mistakes: the three-putt on 10, rushing a little bit, the wedge shot on 11, the wind was kind of up and down and I felt like I just had to pull the trigger,” Kuchar said. “Being on the clock is just stressful. It’s not something you’re used to, so I felt a little more rushed, a little more stressed. Particularly with windy, difficult conditions like today, you just need to think things through more than normal.”
The Valero Texas Open produced yet another new winner on the PGA tour. Not only did the win put a lot of much-needed cash in Stephen Bowditch’s bank account, it moved him up 129 positions in FedEx Cup Standings to 26th place. He will undoubtedly move up in World Rankings, and cherry on top is an invitation to Augusta.
Source: Golf.com PGATour.com