Valero Texas Open: Aussie Steven Bowditch books Masters spot with battling win
Steven Bowditch secured his first PGA Tour win with a one-shot victory in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.
Last Updated: 31/03/14 12:22pm
With conditions tough and his nearest competitors unable to mount any sort of charge, a four-over 76 was enough to give the 30-year-old Australian his maiden win.
Bowditch's winning total of eight-under saw him come home a shot clear of American duo Will MacKenzie (70) and Daniel Summerhays (71) while Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe, who played in the final group with Bowditch, tied for fourth after carding closing 75s.
Kuchar was tied for the lead with nine to play but saw his chances evaporate with bogeys at 10, 11 and 14.
Three clear overnight, Bowditch's lead was swallowed up by the fourth hole as he started bogey-par-par-double bogey.
That dropped him into a tie with Kuchar, who had reeled off four straight pars but Bowditch, the World No 339, settled down after that and kept his nose in front.
A birdie at the par five 14th gave him a two-shot cushion and he held onto that with pars at 15 and 16.
17th hole scare
Bowditch had a scare on the 17th tee when someone in the crowd shouted out at the top of his backswing.
Although he managed to stop his swing, compose himself and tee up his ball again, when he did eventually get his drive away, it leaked way right into trouble.
But from a bare lie in the dirt, he knocked his chip onto the green and two-putted to maintain his two stroke advantage as he teed off on the par five 18th.
Although Bowditch pulled his 3-wood into the left rough, two more solid shots got him safely on the green and, after fighting back the tears, he closed out the win with a three-putt which he could afford.
And not only did it give him a first PGA Tour win it also punched his ticket to The Masters at Augusta.