By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Steven Bowditch knew that if he didn’t shoot a sub-par round Friday at the Wyndham Championship that he would likely miss the FedExCup Playoffs. He didn’t just break par. He went bogey-free at Sedgefield Country Club. His 66 ensured that he’d play the weekend at the Wyndham and keep alive his Playoffs chances.
“I have two rounds left. I’m halfway home,” said Bowditch, who’s at 3-under 137. “It’s just going out there and playing golf. Whatever happens, happens.”
Bowditch began Wyndham week ranked 125th in the FedExCup. The top 125 at week’s end advance to the Playoffs and retain their TOUR card. Bowditch’s card wasn’t in question, though. The top 125 money earners also keep their playing privileges, and Bowditch started the week ranked 114th in earnings.
He was two shots outside the cut line after a first-round 71 at Sedgefield, but easily made the cut after Friday’s 66. He made birdies on Nos. 5, 8, 12 and 15.
Peter Hanson, who started the week at No. 126, missed the cut, as did No. 128 Brad Fritsch, No. 129 Padraig Harrington, No. 130 Bud Cauley, No. 131 Fabian Gomez and No. 132 Chad Campbell. Nicolas Colsaerts, No. 127 in the FedExCup, is not in the field this week, meaning that Nos. 126-132 in the standings will not be earning points this week.
Hanson likely will keep his TOUR card because he’s 121st on the money list, but Fritsch (139th in earnings) and Cauley (140) will have to attend the Web.com Tour Finals to retain their full playing privileges. Gomez has a chance to keep his card, having started the week at No. 124 in earnings. Campbell is 131st in earnings, but can use a career money-list exemption next season.
ON THE BUBBLE
|Name||FedExCup rank||Projected rank||Score||Position|
NOTES: There are currently no players projected to move from outside the top 125 to inside that cut line. ... Jim Herman, who started the week at No. 149 is projected to move to No. 126. He is T-4 after shooting 67-66. ... Greg Owen, who started the week ranked 134th, is projected to move to No. 127. He's T-35 at 3 under par. ... None of the players ranked Nos. 126-132 will earn points this week.
Steven Bowditch is 8 under through two rounds at The Old White TPC. (Troutman/Getty Images)
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Steven Bowditch has played in 91 events on the PGA TOUR -- and has posted just one top-10 finish. So he can be excused for being a little out of his element as he enters the weekend at The Greenbrier Classic.
Bowdtich fired a 67 on Friday that left him well within contention in a logjam at 8 under. At one point on the front nine, his second of the day, the Aussie was alone at the top of the leaderboard before a three-putt bogey from 25 feet dropped him back into the pack.
"I really haven't put myself in position really my whole career, so it's going to be a new experience for me," Bowditch said. "... This is my third (straight season on the PGA TOUR), so I've gained a little bit of experience but not quite at this level.
"So I'm just going to go out there and play my game. My golf swing feels probably the best it's felt in a long time now, so I'm sort of freewheeling it, which is nice. You don't often get to do that in the game of golf, so just go out there and keep freewheeling and hopefully make some putts."
Bowditch hit all but one green in regulation during the first round and all but six over 36 holes. He's found 20 of 28 fairways and used a total of 36 well-timed putts.
The best part of the week? Bowditch was able to build on the positives from that opening 65 -- draining a 42-footer for birdie on his first hole Friday, then chipping in on the next for another.
"So it was good to keep the momentum going from yesterday and play pretty solid all the way in," Bowditch said. "I had a few chances and just didn't quite make them and three putted No. 8 to unfortunately make a bogey to finish up my round."
Now Bowditch, who has missed his last four cuts and nine of 16 overall, has two more rounds to turn his season around.
"It's obviously everyone's dream at this level to obviously try and win and just keep giving myself chances and hopefully on the back nine I'll have a chance to do well," he said.
Despite a day of sub-par ballstriking by his standards, Steven Bowditch finished his round tied for the lead at the Valero Texas Open. He reflected on his play with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When he finished, Steven Bowditch was projected inside the all-important top 125 on the money list.
About a half hour later, the Aussie was back on the outside looking in -- but at least he'd moved in the right direction. Bowditch, who is tied for 10th at 10 under after a 68, started the week at No. 135 and has improved six spots.
Sunday could be a big day for him -- for a variety of reasons. Bowditch, who only has one top-10 in his PGA TOUR career, has a chance to win for the first time as well as play his way into the top 125.
"I just got to go out and play golf," Bowditch said simply. "That's all I can do. Just try and make putts, hit greens and ... whatever happens, happens."
We’re well into the afternoon wave at The Old White TPC, and no one has been able to catch Trevor Immelman, who leads after a 6-under 64.
Brendon de Jonge has a chance to at 4 under through 12 holes, but he’s been stuck on that number for about an hour.
Meanwhile, Kenny Perry, Gary Woodland, Ryuji Imada and Kyle Stanley are all sitting another stroke back at 3 under.
Speaking of Woodland and Stanley, they, along with J.B. Holmes and Steven Bowditch, are among the four players in the field this week with the best driving distance average.
Coincidence that three of those four are near the top of the leaderboard? Probably not, especially since 200 yards was added to the course for this year’s tournament. And the only one of that group who didn’t play well Thursday was Holmes, who shot 76.
Steven Bowditch's final round may be an indication of what's to expect this afternoon from the leaders.
Bowditch birdied the par-5 last at Annandale to shoot 62, climbing more than 50 spots on the leaderboard. He is currently tied for ninth.
The Aussie entered the event 130th in FedExCup standings, and a high finish would go a long way toward securing a spot in the all-important top 125.
Bowditch first qualified for the TOUR in 2006 but battled a bout of serious depression that derailed his game. In that year, he played in 22 events but only made two cuts. He made it back to the TOUR this year after finishing in the top 25 of last year's Nationwide Tour money list.
This year, Bowditch has made the cut in 11 of 19 events, including a top-10 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Colonial is generally regarded as favoring the shorter, accurate hitter than the big bomber. But Steven Bowditch, one of the PGA TOUR's longer drivers, is having no problems scoring well on a course he's never played before.
The Australian posted a 6-under 64 in Friday's second round of the Crowne Plaze Invitational at Colonial, and is 9 under through 36 holes, which left him near the top of the leaderboard. His 64 tied for the lowest shot by any player in Friday's morning wave; past Colonial champion Rory Sabbatini and Lucas Glover also posted 64s on Friday.
Bowditch ranks fifth on the PGA TOUR in driving distance this year, and 168th in driving accuracy at 52.66 percent. His accuracy hasn't been that much better through the first two rounds -- he's at 57 percent, having hit 16 of 28 fairways -- but his putting stroke has allowed him to minimize his mistakes.
He's rolled in five putts outside 15 feet, including three on Friday. His birdie putt at the sixth was for 29 feet, and two holes later, he poured in a putt from outside 21 feet. He also birdied the 14th with an 18-footer.
"Personally I don't think I really felt like I played as good as I did yesterday tee to green," Bowditch said. "But I just made some putts. That's basically what it comes down to. ... I didn't play that well, but it was nice to make some putts."
Bowditch lives in the Dallas area since moving from Australia to the United States in 2005. But he has never played Colonial. He did walk the course a couple of years with his current swing coach, Scott Hamilton.
"That's the closest I've been until Monday," Bowditch said.
Being unfamiliar with the course hasn't phased him, though. Neither is he worried about Colonial favoring shorter hitters, either. He's still pulling out driver whenever it's called for.
"If you hit it straight, it doesn't matter how far you hit it," he said. "That's basically what it comes down to. I am taking a lot of drivers. My Cleveland has been really good to me the last few months. It's perfect. I'm confident with it. There is not much more I can do. Aim and hit."
Last year on the Nationwide Tour, Bowditch won the Soboba Golf Classic and finished the year 17th on the money list to earn his TOUR card for the first time since 2006.
In his third start of this year, he shot three consecutive 69s in the last three rounds to finish tied for 9th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. That's his best result to date, although he did finish inside the top 30 in his last start, the Wells Fargo Championship.
Even though he's been grinding for awhile -- he turned pro when he was 18; he's now 27 -- he thinks his best years are ahead of him.
"It's just a process," he said. "You learn, you make mistakes. I'm not even 28 yet. So it's not that big a deal. The career hasn't really started."
Last year, Steven Bowditch won the Nationwide Tour’s Soboba Classic and finished 17th on that tour’s money list to earn his TOUR card for this year.
Fast forward to Friday at Colonial, where he’s in the lead at 10 under after playing his first 14 holes in 7 under here in the second round.
Bowditch has also now gone 26 holes without a bogey. More importantly, he’s made seven birdies so far today.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Rory Sabbatini, who won here four years ago, is among the hottest players who teed off in the morning wave of Friday's second round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Sabbatini is 5 under through his first 12 holes, moving him to 7 under for the tournament. That's just one stroke off the lead shared by David Toms and Chez Reavie, who each shot 8-under 62 on Thursday. Toms is scheduled to tee off at 1:24 p.m. ET, and Reavie will tee off at 1:46 p.m. ET today.
Sabbatini had a stretch of four consecutive birdies starting at the ninth hole. At the 10th, he holed out from the fringe just off the green, while at the 12th, he rolled in a putt from just inside 21 feet.
Lucas Glover , winner of the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago, is also making a big move Friday. Like Sabbatini, he's also 5 under through his first 12 holes, leaving him at 4 under for the tournament.
One of Glover's playing partners, Paul Goydos, is also 5 under on his round, putting him at 5 under for the tournament.
Defending Colonial champ Zach Johnson is 2 under through 12 holes and 4 under for the tournament.
Big-hitting Australian Steven Bowditch is 4 under through his first eight holes, moving him to 7 under for the tournament. Bowditch ranks fifth on the PGA TOUR in driving distance.
Like Toms and Reavie, most of the players at the top of the first-round leaderboard do not tee off until this afternoon. They could be dealing with some dicey weather. There is a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.