STEVEN Bowditch hopes a strong showing at the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum this week will prove a springboard for success when he confronts one of the sport's most demanding assignments.
The Peregian Beach pro will return to the US on Monday, the day after the PGA Championship at the Hyatt Regency concludes, to contest the final stage of the PGA Tour's qualifying school in Palm Springs, California.
Bowditch has been forced to return to the Q-school after losing his tour card this year.
While the 28-year-old's 132nd finish on the money list guarantees him partial status next year - meaning he expects to play in about 18 or 20 events - he is desperate to win back his card.
He needed a top-125 finish to keep his card.
Bowditch, who qualified for the 2011 tour through the PGA's secondary Nationwide Tour, last played in the Q-school in 2007.
So he knows what to expect. He knows that after six intense rounds, he will need to finish in the top 25 to earn full playing privileges next year.
Speaking at his inaugural charity golf day at Twin Waters Golf Club yesterday, where he finished in a tie for first with reigning Australian PGA champion Peter Senior after they both shot four-under 68s, Bowditch said: "It's not something you really want to do (play in the Q-school), but I've still got some status for next year.
"So there's not as much pressure on me this year. I can just go and play golf and see what happens."
While Bowditch is obviously disappointed over losing his card, he said he was still learning.
He believed that if everything came together form wise he could win on the PGA Tour next year, even with partial status.
"You're not happy about losing your job, but it's just a learning process and we'll just go over there and see what happens (at the Q-school)," he said.
"If I can play well one week and all the putts drop in, you just never know I might sneak a win out (on tour next year)."
Bowditch played in the last two PGA Tour tournaments this year on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication after dislocating and fracturing his little finger when a valet accidentally slammed a car door on his hand.
His injured right hand was still causing him problems in the two Australian PGA Tour events he has contested this summer, this month's NSW PGA Championship and the Australian Open.
He was the defending NSW PGA champion, but finished tied for 14th this year.
At the Australian Open he finished well down the field.
Bowditch grew up playing at the Hyatt Regency Coolum.
He finished tied for 18th at last year's tournament.
"You never know. Hopefully the putts will drop this week and we might have a chance on Sunday," he said.
The PGA Championship starts on Thursday.
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