Reprieved Bowditch feels like a lottery winner

  • Golf
  • Saturday, 18 Jul 2015

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - Australian Steven Bowditch thought he had won the lottery after a penalty-shot reprieve on the notorious 17th hole helped him stay in the hunt at the British Open on Friday.

Bowditch was addressing a three-foot putt for a bogey on the testing 495-yard, par-four Road Hole when the wind caused the ball to move and he dropped his club in despair.

Until a recent rule change, a player would be docked a stroke if the ball moved while addressing a putt and he clearly believed he had endured some bad luck.

As it turned out Bowditch had forgotten the regulations and got away with a bogey five after consulting with an official.

"I forgot they changed the rules," said Bowditch who missed the cut in his only previous British Open.

"It used to be a penalty, I had a kind of mind blank. I went from making a pretty soft five to a really mad six to a 'felt-like-a-birdie five' again," he told reporters at St Andrews.

"When (the official) said there was no penalty I felt like I just won the lotto."

Bowditch then took full advantage to birdie the last and finish with a three-under-par 69 to go with his two-under 70 from Thursday and stay high up the leaderboard.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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