STEVEN Bowditch says the love of a good woman has brought calmness to his life.
The Peregian Beach product was certainly in a good head space yesterday, carding a six-under-par 66 to share the lead with Korean J.W. Choi after the opening round of the Australian PGA Championship at the Hyatt Regency Coolum.
Bowditch, who has battled depression and erratic form in the past, got married in September following a four-year courtship.
He credits his American wife for helping him become a more consistent player.
"I found a wonderful woman in my wife Amanda … I guess I have found a little bit of a calmness about me, and just getting older (has helped too)," he said.
"It's that simple, you know. I was a child for a long time, and still am a kid. I'm going to make mistakes but, you know, just try and make less of them now."
Having narrowly lost his card on the PGA Tour this year, Bowditch flies to the US on Monday to try and get it back through the qualifying school.
He did not make many mistakes yesterday, bogeying only two holes - the par-three second and par-four 16th - and firing eight birdies, including one at the par-fourth 18th.
Choi, who unlike the Australian posted his score early in the day, and Bowditch lead a group of four players by a stroke.
They include two of the tournament's big names, Australian Aaron Baddeley and big-hitting American Bubba Watson.
Bowditch, who grew up playing the Hyatt Regency resort course, also opened last year's tournament with a 66 but came unstuck when he shot a four-over-par 76 in the second round.
When asked if he believed he could maintain consistency throughout the four rounds this week, Bowditch said he had "no idea".
"We will wait and see … it's nice to get off to a good start," he said.
"It's better than shooting 76, but there are still 54 holes to go. It's a really good field this year and I'll get up early in the morning (and try and) keep the way I'm playing."
Bowditch said "yes and no" when asked if he was surprised to be leading, adding that he had never seen the greens so firm.
It began raining not long after he finished his round, meaning the greens should be softer today.
Co-leader Choi said he would try and stay composed after his surprise showing yesterday.
"I have to make sure I don't get too excited in the coming days if I want to keep playing well," he said after his 66, which included an eagle on the tough par-four 16th.
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