Bowditch rides luck to be in the Open mix

Australian Steven Bowditch wrestled with the golf gods throughout his second round but ultimately put himself into contention at the British Open at St Andrews.

Bowditch faced several unlucky breaks in his round and believed a late penalty might cruel his chances, only to get a rules reprieve on the way to a three-under-69.

It moved the Queenslander to five under par for the championship, just four off Danny Willett’s lead mark of nine-under midway through the round.

Standing over a short putt for bogey on the treacherous road hole 17th, Bowditch saw his ball move and immediately believed he would be penalised, kicking up some pent-up emotion from a round of near misses.

But a rule change instituted a few years ago that takes away a penalty if wind is deemed to have moved it – rather than the player himself – meant there was no issue and turned his mood.

He duly birdied the last.

“I had a mind blank and I forgot they changed the rule. I went from making a pretty soft five to a really mad six to a felt-like-a-birdie-five again,” Bowditch said.

“I felt like I just won the lotto when he said no penalty.

“I felt I didn’t get off to the start that I figured you needed to take advantage of those first five, six holes and I didn’t feel like I did that.

“I hit it in great spots, had wedges and sand wedges in my hand but landed in a few divots and just couldn’t get it close.

“But 69 around here is a good score.”

Ominously, Bowditch feels he could be much higher up the boards if he could make a few more putts.

“I’m feel like I’m hitting it out of the centre of the club most of the time,” he said.

“I got pretty good distance control with conditions. I don’t feel like I’ve made a putt yet.”

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