Most weeks, when a PGA Tour player simply doesn't have it, they miss the cut, get sent home and are spared having to put their game on public display any longer.
However, for seven weeks each season, there is no cut and nowhere to hide. Steven Bowditch was an unfortunate victim -- and we use that term very loosely -- this week of a lack of a cut.
With a final round, 12-over 84 at Trump National Doral's Blue Monster, Bowditch became the first player in modern PGA Tour history to shoot four rounds in the 80s in a 72-hole event. He shot 81, 80, 80 again and 84 to shoot 37-over 325. He was solidly in last place among the 65 players to finish the tournament by 14 shots.
It really went sideways for Bowditch in the second round, where he played holes 4, 6 and 14 in 13 over par. He made five birdies in that round.
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PGA Tour records show Mike Dunaway was the last player to shoot four rounds in the 80s in a PGA Tour event, shooting four consecutive rounds of 81 at the 1983 Panasonic Las Vegas Pro-Celebrity Classic, which was then a 90-hole event. He obviously missed the cut.
But back to Bowditch. The Aussie took the butt-kicking in stride, talking to the media after going off first solo on Sunday and playing in 2 hours, 15 minutes.
“No one ever wants to play that bad, but it's just the game of golf,” Bowditch said. “Just go out next week and keep working at it and sort the driver out a little bit and maybe play well.”
So why did Bowditch bother to finish? He could've withdrawn. He could've cited some phony injury and gotten ready for next week at the Valspar Championship. But, since Bowditch sucked it up, he earned $48,000 for finishing in dead last. By 14 shots. It's a no-cut event!
However, Bowditch almost didn't finish. He almost ran out of ammo.
"I think I had four dozen golf balls at the start of the week in my locker," he said, "and I’m down to my last one."