The Valero Texas Open was a huge win for Aussie Steven Bowditch: his first victory on the PGA TOUR, a trip to the Masters Tournament, and a triumph, however tenuous, over a decade-long battle against debilitating clinical depression.
Sunday in San Antonio was no cake-walk. Bowditch was paired with Matt Kuchar and Andrew Loupe and they took turns dropping shots as they battled slippery greens and nasty winds. Bowditch carded rounds of 69, 67, 68 & 76, finished at -8, and claimed the Valero victory by a single stroke. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s all it took to get a ticket to Augusta!
Bowditch was ranked 339th when he teed off in San Antonio and had played in just one major championship, the 2003 The Open Championship, where he missed the cut. Never short on talent, Bowditch has struggled with chronic clinical depression for a decade, tried psychotherapy, self-medication with alcohol, and even suicide, before finding his way to a combination of psychotropic medications and therapeutic support that helps him combat the mental paralysis of his disease.
We’ll see you in a week, Steven Bowdich!