Steven Bowditch books Masters berth with Texas win

Australian golfer Steven Bowditch attempted to take his own life back in 2006.

Story highlights

  • Steven Bowditch wins the Valero Texas Open to qualify for the Masters for the first time
  • The Australian claimed a winner's check, the first of his career, for $1.2 million
  • Bowditch has long battled depression and attempted to take his own in 2006
  • He is now a spokesperson for Australian non-profit organization beyondblue

Eight years after he attempted to take his own life, Steven Bowditch is heading to the Masters.

The Australian has battled with depression throughout his career, his nadir coming in 2006 when he attempted to drown himself.

But the 30-year-old has fought back from the brink and, after Sunday's win at the Valero Texas Open, he will take to the tee at Augusta National for the first time when the year's opening major begins on April 10.

Since his suicide bid in 2006 Bowditch has rebuilt his life and career and is now a spokesman for beyondblue, an Australian organization which raises awareness of depression.

"Steven has long-struggled with a depressive condition and several years ago he publicly explained his plight while raising money for beyondblue," the non-profit organization's chairman Jeff Kennett said in a statement.

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"Steven today is yet another example to anyone who experiences depressive or anxiety conditions, that by seeking professional help and staying focused you can not only overcome your own struggles, but can rightly be called a champion.

"He has triumphed on the toughest golf circuit in the world and it shows that with the appropriate support, people with depression or anxiety are capable of achieving the extraordinary.

    "It sends a message to all Australians, particularly those in sport, that when you are struggling it sometimes can help to be open and talk about it.

    "While Steven will today have a wonderful trophy, this achievement itself is a shining prize that will inspire others with depression to reach similar heights."

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    Collecting a winner's check for $1.2 million, his first on the PGA Tour, is a far cry from where Bowditch eight years ago.

    In an interview with Golf Digest in 2009, Bowditch revealed that, after going 12 days without sleep, he drank an entire bottle of Scotch and fell asleep for two days.

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    When he woke up, Bowditch put on his heaviest clothes and jumped in a swimming pool in a bid to commit suicide.

    His girlfriend dragged him out and resuscitated him.

    In clinching the biggest win of his 13-year professional career, Bowditch had to battle wind, "moving rocks" and the odd cactus..

    The world No. 134 took a three-shot lead into Sunday's final round but he was three-over on the first four holes allowing American Matt Kuchar into a share of the lead.

    Kuchar bogeyed three of the first five holes on the back nine, allowing Bowditch to triumph. His round of 76 was the highest by the winner of an event since Vijay Singh at the PGA Championship in 2004.

    "After a period of time out there, with the way I was playing, I kind of just accepted the fact that I was going to be playing from cactuses, moving rocks, missing putts and just had to deal with it every time," Bowditch told the PGA Tour's official website.

    "It happened so frequently that it never really surprised me. I was just lucky enough that the wind was up enough today that no one else could squeeze in there and shoot a good score."

    When asked how he will get ready for the year's first major, the 30-year-old joked: "I don't even know how to get there."

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