Bowditch, buoyed by an early eagle, frittered away a couple of
strokes with a double-bogey at his final hole at the TPC San
Antonio, but his 67 left him with an eight-under total of 136, one
stroke ahead of Americans Chad Collins (66) and Andrew Loupe
The three frontrunners all played in the morning, avoiding a stiff
afternoon breeze that sent scores soaring among the late starters.
Phil Mickelson did better than most in the afternoon, shooting 70.
He made the cut with nothing to spare after splashing his third shot
from the creek adjacent to the green at the par-five 18th to five
feet and then holing the birdie putt.
Though the three-time Masters champion will start the third round 11
strokes behind Bowditch, he is delighted at the chance for two more
competitive rounds as he tunes up for Augusta in a fortnight.
Bowditch's end-of-round lead was his first in 110 starts on the PGA
"It was nice to get out early before that wind started to get up,"
the 30-year-old told reporters.
"I'm not making many putts at the moment. Most of my birdies have
been coming inside six or five feet. I've hit a lot of good wedge
"I made a couple (of) good par saves on my backside but all in all
it's been more hit my approach shots pretty close and get myself in
The double-bogey finish came at the par-four ninth, where he fanned
his second shot into rough 20 yards right of the hole.
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He misjudged his pitch shot and barely got the ball halfway to the
cup. His next attempt was not much better, leaving him with a
10-foot bogey putt which he missed.
Despite the poor finish, Bowditch remained positive.
"You're going to have some good shots and you're going to have
some bad shots," added the Australian, who has long toiled on the
tour but underlined his promise with a tie for second at the
Greenbrier Classic last year.
"It's a 72-hole tournament and I just did it on the 36th hole. It's
going to happen out there."
It was certainly smoother sailing earlier in the round as he holed
out from 82 yards at the par-four 12th.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina;
editing by Gene
Cherry and Ian Ransom)
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