LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – At first blush, Steve Bowditch’s day at Disney has the look of a year-ending collapse – five bogeys interspersed amid a handful of birdies with his 2012 PGA Tour card on the line.
What’s missing from that line is Bowditch’s broken right hand and one of the gutsiest performances of the season.
After Bowditch missed the cut at last week’s McGladrey Classic, a valet accidentally slammed the Australian’s right hand in a car door, breaking the bone beneath his pinkie finger and throwing into doubt a crucial stretch for Bowditch.
At 135th in earnings he had to play Disney in an attempt to keep his Tour card and after consulting with three doctors he was advised that if he could withstand the pain he could play.
For three rounds he managed the discomfort with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication, but on Sunday he lost his grip on his club and his shot at securing his Tour card.
“I didn’t have clubface control. The clubface would start moving around,” said Bowditch, who slumped to a closing 72 to tie for 16th place and finish at 132nd in earnings. “I could only play at about 80 percent.”
Bowditch will not have much time to recover from the injury. He is planning to play the Australian Open and New South Wales Open next month and then return to the United States for the final stage of Q-School in December.
“I was supposed to be in a cast for four weeks,” he said. “But I have to play.”