Steven Bowditch might have Texas golf down better than anyone on the PGA Tour right now. Bowditch picked up his second career win on Sunday at the Byron Nelson a year after finally breaking through for his first victory at the Texas Open down in San Antonio.
Bowditch started Sunday's final round with a two-shot lead and held a comfortable multi-shot cushion for most of the day. There were some big-name talents chasing right behind him, most notably Dustin Johnson and Jimmy Walker, Americans who win on Tour as much as anyone. After a Saturday round of 62, Johnson shot 24 spots up the leaderboard and was the favorite playing the final group alongside Bowditch.
But neither Johnson nor Walker really ever got momentum going to put a scare in Bowditch. Walker missed several short putts and Johnson, who chipped in twice in the first few holes, imploded with a quadruple-bogey snowman.
The Aussie sat back and watched that carnage early, turned it on through the second nine and cruised to the 18th tee with a four-shot lead. It's hard to have the pressure get to you when you're up three and four shots over the final few holes. Bowditch really set the pace on Thursday, when he posted the round of the tournament, an 8-under 62. The course was altered to a par-69 for the final three rounds after flooding made the 14th hole (and the entire week) a mess at TPC Four Seasons. But Bowditch never really came close to shooting in the 70s all week (62-68-65-64), and that kind of streak will always put you near the top of the leaderboard.
Bowditch dropped a couple shots on the front nine, but still made the turn in 1-under 34. The back nine, however, was where he slammed the door on any would-be chasers. Back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th meant the rest of the field would need a car crash finish from Bowditch, but he never gave another shot back on this soggy layout. A birdie at the 16th made it three shots and then, even when he wasn't trying to make a birdie, he still did. This shot at the 17th got away from him and took a scary line right over the water that he never planned, but this was his week:
He's not the big-name superstar, but Bowditch has an incredible story that many learned for just the first time last year during that Texas Open win. He was born with an incredible talent and golf swing, one that many in the loaded Aussie set of pros said was the best of the best from that country. Bowditch, however, battled drinking problems, sleeping problems, severe anxiety, and clinical depression as he tried to launch his career. That all appears to be behind him and this week, he set a new personal birdie record at the same course where he celebrated his wedding. It continues to be an awesome, if lesser-known, story on the PGA Tour.
The Tour now swings up to Ohio and the Memorial, where Tiger Woods will make his return . After a couple brutal weather weeks in the annual Dallas-Fort Worth two-step, it doesn't look much better for Muirfield, which is historically beset by storms and awful weather.
Here are the final results from Dallas and the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson:
|Place||Player||Score||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Total|
|T22||Brendon de Jonge||-8||70||66||63||70||269|
|T39||Sung Joon Park||-6||68||68||65||71||272|