THE Sunshine Coast's Ian Baker-Finch, an Open Championships winner, believes Steven Bowditch could be a contender on the world golf scene for years to come.
Bowditch, of Peregian Beach, has continued to improve during the past three years and enjoyed his best season yet in 2015.
In May, the heavy-hitter claimed victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his adopted state of Texas, on the same course where he married his wife Amanda in 2011.
"I really think he turned it (his game) around when he got married," Baker-Finch said.
"He is so much more comfortable and more stable in his own skin.
"Since that time, he's won a couple of times on the PGA Tour.
"He's in a good place."
Consistent results on tour this year saw Bowditch selected in the International team in the prestigious Presidents Cup in South Korea last month.
He earned top-25 results in 10 of 32 events, amassed more than $3 million in prize money and finished 20th on the tour's FedExCup standings.
And at just 32, he is poised to be a threat on the big stage for many more seasons.
"He's still strong....it's really good for the game these days to be able to hit the ball a long way," Baker-Finch said.
"And when you win, it breeds confidence and winning this year and getting into the Presidents Cup was great for his confidence.
"I see him continuing to be in that top-50 in the world, vying for spots on the Presidents Cup team and maybe contending in the majors."
Baker-Finch, 55, won The Open Championship in 1991.
He is captain of the Australian team for next year's Olympics in Brazil.
Bowditch is in some sort of contention for a spot in that team.
He has started the new season by making two cuts from three events and will compete in the lucrative World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions from today.
Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion who spent time on the Coast as a junior, is considered one of Australia's likely representatives in Rio.
Other Sunshine Coasters Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Smith are also in the mix.
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