Same nerves, same result for Bowditch in win No. 2
His surprising win and the best stats, videos and tweets from the week
June 01, 2015
By D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
- Steven Bowditch after winning the AT&T Byron Nelson by four shots. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Monday Finish, which will be played this week as a 1,000-word par 3.
Don't beat yourself up, fantasy players. Steven Bowditch didn't see this coming either.
Dating back to mid January, Bowditch had missed nine of 13 cuts before stepping on the gas Sunday and claiming a four-shot win at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Without so much as a top-10 finish in that stretch, he wasn't exactly trending coming into this week, a fact he won't argue.
Asked if he changed anything coming into this week, he laughed: "No. Run out of money.
"It's basically the way my career has been my whole life," he said. "You know, I guess when it's good, it's good and when it's not, I'm just trying to hang on and make some cuts."
But to be fair, he didn't see it coming last time either and he still claimed a one-shot win at last year's Valero Texas Open. Don't think having a victory under his belt made him more comfortable on Sunday.
"I wasn't really at ease," Bowditch said. "I was more like a duck on a pond. My insides were moving a mile a minute. Just cruising on the surface."
Last year in San Antonio, you could see the discomfort; he shot a final-round 76, the highest final-round score by a winner for the season. Sunday, you couldn't. Apart from his tee shot at No. 17 that was admittedly 30 feet right of his target and dangerously close to the water, Bowditch didn't miss a shot (or a putt), cruising to a victory with a back-nine 30.
"I've been able to just gain that experience and you know the feelings that are going to come up in different scenarios," Bowditch said. "I'm lucky enough to be able to do that a few times now so I understand when a truck is coming to get out of the way."
THIS WEEK'S FIVE BEST STATS
1) Steven Bowditch fired an opening-round 62 on Thursday, which ties his career low round on TOUR. It ties the lowest opening round of the season and is the lowest opening round by a winner by two shots.
2) Bowditch held the lead after each round this week (he had a share of the lead after 36 holes). The Nelson has been held every year since 1956 (and also 1944-46) and in that time, only two players have won the event in true wire-to-wire fashion (no ties): Mark Hayes in 1976 and Tom Watson in 1980.
3) The win is Bowditch’s first top-10 finish since the season-opening Frys.com Open, where he finished second. That was 231 days ago.
4) Gaining 4.429 strokes per round, Bowditch led the field in strokes gained: putting this week. Entering the week, he was 89th on TOUR in that category.
5) Three different players were able to record top-10 finishes at both of TOUR’s summer stops in Texas: Brandt Snedeker (T2, Crowne Plaza Invitational; T6, AT&T Byron Nelson), Colt Knost (T10, T10) and Charley Hoffman (T10, T2).
THIS WEEK'S THREE BEST VIDEOS
1) Steven Bowditch's honesty about this shot is what makes it my favorite video of the week. With a three-shot lead, obviously he was not firing at this pin and you can see it in how he reacts immediately.
Steven Bowditch records a key birdie on the 71st hole at AT&T Byron Nelson
2) The first thing we asked ourselves when No. 14 was shortened from a 406-yard par 4 into a 104-yard par 3 was, "How long before someone aces it?" Not long.
Gary Woodland aces the 14th hole at AT&T Byron Nelson
3) At first glance, there is nothing spectacular about this chip-in by Ken Duke. Until you see his reaction, at which point you realized that "spectacular" is not a strong enough word.
Ken Duke confidently holes his chip shot for birdie at AT&T Byron Nelson
ODDS AND ENDS
A quick word about "par": When 4 1/2 inches of rain made the 14th fairway unplayable on Thursday night, it dredged up one of golf's weird disconnects: Fans' obsession with the word "par."
For logistical reasons (scorecards, signage, etc.) the hole was, at first, shortened into a 104-yard "par 4." As strange as this may sound, par in that sense is completely irrelevant. A four is a four. A three is a three. It doesn't change strategy or club selection. You can call it any type of bird you want, but at the end of the week, it's total strokes that are added up, not a player's relation to par.
Allow Geoff Ogilvy to sum it up:
This week saw the first PGA TOUR pairing of friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, who played the first two rounds alongside Brooks Koepka. What this meant for fans was an opportunity to see some of our favorite photos of these two young stars from their junior golf days.
Speaking of which, there was another local teenager that made the cut this week at the Nelson. Austin Connelly, an 18-year-old that has been attending the tournament his entire life, made the cut after a second-round 66 (he missed the secondary cut on Saturday).
Connelly has a unique history at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which you can read all about here.
John Peterson wasn't in the field this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson. But his Sunday did not go to waste.
On Sunday's, I ride mini bikes to public pools because in America we have those pic.twitter.com/q4nRLSpsDw— John Peterson (@JohnPetersonLSU) May 31, 2015
Finally, take a few minutes to read these letters from children to four-time PGA TOUR winner and amateur superhero Jimmy Walker.