GOLF: Local hope Steven Bowditch is trying to curb his naturally risky ways in an effort to "play more like everybody else".
Big-hitting Bowditch, who stormed into contention at the Australian PGA Championship yesterday, is generally perceived as one of the most talented players around but his career has been chequered by inconsistency because of his do-or-die approach.
As a result, the 29-year-old is yet to fully establish himself in the upper echelons of the sport, drifting in and out of the US PGA Tour in recent years.
"I've been out there (on the tour) but I've never held my own out there," he said.
But the Peregian Beach golfer is keen to kick his "Tin Cup" persona and emerge a more patient player.
"I've started to play a little more like everybody else in how I play off the tee and that kind of stuff, so I've just sort of reeled it in a bit," he said.
"It's to try and be there on the weekends, to try to gain experience that way rather than either winning a golf tournament or missing the cut. I want to slowly move into events.
"Experience is the one big thing that you learn over the years, and this is now my 11th year as a professional so I guess it just takes time and patience.
"You have to really use your patience and I think that really is what I have learnt in the last year or so - not playing so well on the tour but just learning more about myself and how to handle pressure and how to handle the good and bad times."
After a lean season in the US, Bowditch certainly showed plenty of composure and patience at the pressure-packed Q-School early this month when he reclaimed a full-time berth on the tour.
"It's one the most demanding golf events I have ever had to play," he said.
"In the final round I got off to a bad start and was going downhill really quickly, and I learnt a lot about myself on that back nine, when there was more pressure than I have ever had.
"If it fell the other way, it could have been the end of my career.
"I was lucky enough to hang on and finish it off."
BOWDITCH moved into a share of fifth place at the Australian PGA Championship on home soil yesterday, when he carved a second-round score of five-under par 67 at Yaroomba to move to seven-under for the tournament.
He was four strokes adrift of leader Zhang Xin Jun.
After an early double bogey on the 11th, Bowditch regrouped and snared five birdies and an eagle on the par-five fifth hole when he hit his approach shot to 15 feet.
Round two scores and round three tee times in sport details.