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(Reuters) - The four-stroke victory by Steven Bowditch at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday might rank as only his second best experience at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas.
Four years after getting married at the resort, Bowditch became the latest Australian to win the PGA Tour stop in Irving, Texas, when he pulled away with a decisive four-birdie burst over the final eight holes.
“This is a very special place for myself and my wife. We took some wedding pictures here. Now I get to take some more pictures,” Bowditch told CBS TV after tapping in his winning putt only a few yards from where he tied the knot with Amanda.
He finished at 18-under 259, earning nearly $1.3 million for his second PGA Tour victory, while Americans Charley Hoffman (65), Jimmy Walker (66) and Scott Pinckney (66) shared second on 14-under.
The odd total came as the par-four 14th was played as a par-three the final three rounds due to saturated conditions.
Bowditch, who turns 32 next week, is the third Australian winner here over the last eight years, joining Adam Scott (2008) and Jason Day (2010). All three players learned their craft at the same golf academy in Queensland.
He started the day with a two-shot lead and effectively clinched victory with a brilliant birdie at the par-five 16th.
Bowditch said his apparent calmness masked his nervousness down the stretch.
“I guess you’d call it a duck on a pond. The feet are churning a mile a minute and you’re just cruising on the surface. That’s how I felt out there.”
Born and raised in Australia, where he had a stellar amateur career, Bowditch has called the Dallas-Fort Worth area home since he moved to the U.S. to pursue his golf career.
His progress was hampered by a bout of severe depression during his first stint on the PGA Tour in 2006 and he did not get back onto the main stage until 2011.
On a sunny day that followed weeks of torrential rain, American Dustin Johnson came out with guns blazing.
He had chip-in birdies at the first and third holes to tie for the lead, but his hopes ended with a quadruple-bogey at the par-four sixth, where he sliced his drive out-of-bounds and then pulled his next attempt from the tee into more trouble.
Johnson tied for eighth on 11-under, while Masters champion and hometown hero Jordan Spieth was equal 30th on seven-under.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine