AUGUSTA - Steven Bowditch has revealed the secret behind the breakthrough US PGA Tour victory that earned him his Masters debut.
It's Angie Pampling, the wife of good mate and fellow Australian tour pro Rod Pampling.
An accomplished sports psychologist who's had success helping other golfers, she started working with Bowditch just before his victory at the Texas Open and will also provide a sounding board at Augusta National.
"I just thought, especially this year, that I was playing well and just getting nothing out of my game," explained Bowditch.
"So I was talking to Pamps and he said why don't you go have a talk to Angie."
Their four-hour chat prior to the Texas Open focussed on breathing techniques and allowed the 30-year-old to bring his concentration to a new level. Given the travails of his final round in Texas, dealing with nerves, some loose shots, horrendously slow play from opponents and even heckling in his swing, it proved a roaring success.
"As a consequence of the chat I was just going into that week with a little bit of a different pre-shot routine, different practice and how I go about things in that 40 seconds around the golf ball," Bowditch said.
"I can always pick targets and visualise shots but it just made that 'aim small, miss small' window just a bit smaller...It's been great.
"I was just really trying to implement it that week and give it some time and see how it went.
"Obviously it helped me and it still continues to help me even though it's only been a couple of weeks. Call it coincidence? I don't think you can."