PGA Tour card in hand, Bowditch wins Down Under

Steven Bowditch

NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia – Fresh from earning his U.S. PGA Tour card, Steven Bowditch of Australia claimed the NSW PGA Championship on Sunday at Wollongong Golf Club.

Bowditch finished at 17-under 263, two strokes ahead of runner-up Gareth Paddison of New Zealand.

It’s been a whirlwind year for the 27-year-old. He won the Nationwide Tour’s Soboda Golf Classic in October and finished among the top 25 on the circuit’s money list, which earned Bowditch his PGA Tour card for 2011.

Damon Welsford finished third at 12 under, recording his best career PGA Tour of Australasia performance, while Matthew Millarwas fourth at 11 under.

Rookie Kieran Pratt – who made his pro debut at last week’s Australian Masters where he placed T-22 – continued toimpress by finishing fifth at 10 under.

In the final round, Bowditch overcame strong winds and a minor shoulder injury to secure his victory.

“After a great year in the States, it was one of my goals to come home and really compete in our big events and this is a great stepping stone,” Bowditch said.

The tour heads to the NSW Open, which starts Thursday at the Vintage Golf Club.

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