GOLF: Peregian Beach product Steven Bowditch is in the midst of a horror form slump on the US PGA Tour but one good event would spark a career resurgence, according to a Noosa professional who knows him well.
The 33-year-old missed the cut for the ninth time in as many events, at the RSM Classic in Georgia last week after shooting rounds of 81 and 72 to be 11 over.
Leading into the tournament, he missed 15 cuts from his past 19 outings and accumulated some shocking scores along the way.
It all started in March, when five straight rounds of over-80 had golf pundits and fans reeling.
By the end of the 2015/2016 season in August, he'd compiled some of the worst statistics on tour.
He was the least accurate driver (hitting just 43% of fairways), was the worst approach player (losing 1.7 strokes to the field average from tee to green) and was the worst scrambler (failing to make par 51% of the time after missing the green with an approach shot).
Worryingly, it appears he's started the new campaign (2016/2017) in a similar vein.
But hitting partner and Noosa Golf Club professional Scott Olander expects his mate can turn things around with one good weekend.
"He's a real confidence player,” he said. "Once he gets going he's good.”
"One event can turn him around, most definitely.”
Bowditch is a two-time winner on tour and a Presidents Cup player with a booming long game.
"He's got a lot of ability, raw talent,” Olander said.
"He's got it all, (so) that (one good event) is all he needs and he'll be away.”
And time is on his side.
"The season has just started and he is fully exempt for it,” he said.
"It (a slump) can happen in golf. That's the real world of being a professional golfer.”
Olander pointed to Caboolture product Rod Pampling, who won a recent tour event.
"He got up which is great to see and he'd been struggling for a couple of years,” he said.
"Now he's exempt for two (more) years ... that's what can happen.”
Regardless of what happens on the course, Bowditch is set for a busy time off it.
His wife Amanda is pregnant.
Olander said it was unlikely his friend would return to Australia for any of the summer events.
- Steele Taylor
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