After a tumultuous 2016 popular Queenslander Steven Bowditch has the chance to hit the reset button when the first full field event of 2017 tees off in Honolulu this week.
Bowditch and wife Amanda recently welcomed their second child into the world, an off course highlight in a season which featured few of the golf variety.
Twice a winner on the PGA TOUR, Bowditch is one of the more naturally gifted players to emerge from Australia and his 2016 results are no reflection on his talent.
While he has handled the difficult stretch with both humour and grace the 32-year-old would undoubtedly like to see a turnaround in form beginning at this week’s Sony Open.
While he has rarely played well at the Waialae Country Club he has also never missed the cut there and after 15 weekends off in 2016, and another four straight to start the new wraparound season at the end of last year, a Saturday tee time would signal a step in the right direction.
Bowditch is one of seven Australians teeing up this week in a tournament that has historically not been kind to players from this part of the world.
Only Bruce Crampton in 1969 and Brett Ogle in 1994 have claimed the trophy, a record Cameron Smith, John Senden, Greg Chalmers, Marc Leishman, Cameron Percy, Rod Pampling and Bowditch would all like to improve on.
Of the seven Leishman has the best record with two top-10 finishes in seven appearances, his best coming in 2014 when finishing fifth.
The Victorian has found the course to his liking over the years with 20 of his 28 competition rounds there yielding scores in the 60’s.
Leishman has already made a positive start to the new season with two made cuts in two starts to finish 2016 and after a lacklustre year by his standards will be keen to build on that as 2017 gets underway.
John Senden is the Australian with the most appearances to his name this week making the journey to Honolulu 13 times for a best finish of T20 in both 2007 and 2011.
Greg Chalmers has the most unusual record among the Australians teeing up eight times for six missed cuts and an unlikely best result of T5 back in 2001.
Cameron Smith plays the event for just the second time after missing the secondary cut in 2016 while Cameron Percy and Rod Pampling make their fourth and fifth appearances respectively.
Percy last played in 2015 while Pampling was last in Honolulu in 2007.
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