Steven Bowditch says stripping off 14kg and getting fair dinkum about training is behind his second US PGA tour win and has him determined to become a more regular factor in tournaments.
Bowditch led wire-to-wire at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, charging to a four-shot win with a five-under final round, destroying talk his inaugural win in 2014 was somewhat of a fluke.
While it is true he shot a four-over 76 on Sunday on the way to winning the 2014 Texas Open in tough conditions, Bowditch showed nerves of steel to ward off big name challengers this time around, including American stars Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth.
Johnson stole the lead early on Sunday with a couple of impressive hole outs, yet the Australian refused to yield.
“The win validates things for sure. You hear the whispers about `is it just a one off, is it just lucky, or do we expect more’,” Bowditch said as he prepared to back up his performance at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
“I have always expected more myself and I think winning again, and the way I was able to do it, was a great feeling and I guess and for me it validates I am doing the right stuff and just getting more belief in what I am doing.”
Having just one top 10 finish on his resume since winning in 2014 Bowditch returned from last year’s Australian summer fed up with himself, his lack of standards and ballooning weight.
“I was way overweight and I’d had enough. So I hired a physio and a trainer full-time to really give it a good shot and see if I could compete with all of these young guys coming out here now,” he admitted.
“I gave myself to the end of this year to keep dropping weight and get results and I am down 30 pounds (13.5kg) now so it was a progression that I was hoping for but not expecting this quick.
“The result is I am back to my old stuff when I was a kid, got some length back, and feeling really good.”
The win moved Bowditch up to 65th in the world rankings and while it clinched a berth in the PGA Championship and next years Masters tournament and should also see him find a place in the British Open, he is still without a spot in the US Open later this month.
If he can get inside the top 60 and be there on June 15 he would join the field, something a decent finish this week could achieve.
“I have a lot to play for this week with the US Open so certainly plenty of motivation outside of just the fact this is a great tournament hosted by a legend of the game,” Bowditch said.
“I would obviously like to get that done and also like to be in contention again in the near future and on a more regular basis.”
Jason Day, John Senden, Matt Jones, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Greg Chalmers join Bowditch in the field this week.