Steven Bowditch has continued Australian golfers’ love affair with Texas, shooting an eight-under-par 62 to lead the US PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Championship.
The winner of last year’s Texas Open, Bowditch had a day out with his putter, rolling in a series of monsters in his bogey-free first-round to lead by two shots from American Jimmy Walker at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas.
The 31-year-old from Newcastle, NSW, added 10 grams to his Bettinardi putter the previous day and made a 24-footer for birdie on his opening hole and then others from 30 and 29 feet before the turn and an 18-footer coming home.
Bowditch told PGATour.com it was his finest round for distance putting.
“I typically don’t make a lot of longer putts,” Bowditch said.
Last year Australians won three tour events in Texas, with Bowditch successful in San Antonio, Matt Jones taking the Houston Open and Adam Scott the Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth.
The theory is that the Aussies thrive in the Lone Star state because they grow up playing in similar windy conditions to those that often prevail in Texas.
Not surprisingly, there are 11 Aussies in this week’s field.
Bowditch also lives in Texas.
He’s been a resident in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the last 10 years.
“I basically threw a dart at the map when I first came over here in 2005 and then ended up marrying me a Texan, so I’m stuck now,” said Bowditch.