Say this for Steven Bowditch: he's got a good sense of humor about it all.
Professionally, it's been a rough couple years for the Australian PGA Tour player. He's missed the cut in all five Tour events he's entered in 2018. He made just two of 27 cuts in 2017, his best finish a T58 at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Add in the end of his 2016 season — he missed 19 cuts, including five in a row to finish — and you'll get a sense of what Bowditch has been through since winning the AT&T Byron Nelson during a strong 2015 season where he made more than $3 million in earnings.
It's understandable, then, that Bowditch is looking for a shake-up at this week's John Deere Classic: He's offering his bag up to the public. On Twitter.
"Any local kids/college players in the Quad cities area that are interested in caddying in the tournament this week, this thread is for you," Bowditch wrote Monday night. "The best response/reason gets the job."
Bowditch didn't offer any guarantee he'd be around for the weekend, putting the job's hours at "2 pm Tues start, finish Friday. 1% Sunday."
The post instantly drew plenty of attention, earning more than 150 replies by Tuesday morning. Plenty were tongue-in-cheek. "Can I use a push cart?" one potential looper asked. "Nope. I already asked," Bowditch replied. Plenty of others were earnest, though, from local college players to golf fans looking for a few days away from the office.
The catch, of course, is that a missed cut doesn't earn anyone — player or caddie — a paycheck for the week. But that doesn't mean they'll be walking away empty-handed. "Payment: all leftover gloves and balls are yours," Bowditch concluded with a winking emoji.
"That's a rip off," one particularly biting user replied. "You'll have no balls left."
But Bowditch is used to this sort of cutting commentary by now. He's leaning into it. "Roll the dice," he replied.
UPDATE: Bowditch has found his man: 16-year-old Elias Francque.
This man has the heavy lifting for the week.. Thank you to all that offered. Love reading the replies and DMs.— bowdo (@bowdo83) July 10, 2018
Let's get it this week Elias! https://t.co/llmECjxR0H
Here's how Francque's successful pitch went down.
I️ visit my grandparents farm nearby. I️ve played the course and loved it. Two of my uncles work for John Deere. I’m a caddy at my local country club and on the golf team. I️ turn 17 on Friday and helping you make the cut would be a great birthday present! I️ love Australia— Elias Francque (@e_francque) July 10, 2018
Suburbs of Chicago. I️ can be there before 2 if u want me to be— Elias Francque (@e_francque) July 10, 2018
The shoulders are better than ever— Elias Francque (@e_francque) July 10, 2018