IN ACTION: Steven Bowditch during the second round of the Barbasol Championship at Lexington, Kentucky.
IN ACTION: Steven Bowditch during the second round of the Barbasol Championship at Lexington, Kentucky. Stacy Revere

Bowditch to have spinal surgery after two-year battle

GOLF: Peregian Beach product Steven Bowditch is to have spinal fusion surgery, similar to that undertaken by Tiger Woods, after battling pain and numbness for the past two years while his career plummeted.

A two-time winner on the US PGA Tour, 35-year-old Bowditch says doctors finally discovered the cause of his problems after one recommended a moving X-ray, which picked up two stress fractures and spinal slippage.

He was diagnosed with Pars Defect and Spondylolysis.

"After meeting with several surgeons, who all arrived at the same conclusion, treatment is a surgical fusion of the L5 and S1, which I will undergo next month,” Bowditch said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"Fingers crossed I will once again be able to sit and sleep without any lower back pain...and ultimately be able to return to golf activity in late 2019.”

Bowditch enjoyed career highs when he won the Texas Open in 2014 and the Byron Nelson tournament in 2015.

But there's been very little joy since as he missed 25 of 27 cuts in the 2016/17 PGA Tour season and all eight cuts from his limited opportunities in 2017/18.

"I spent much of the last two years dealing with lower back pain, leg numbness, sciatic pain, loss of control of my right side and tingling in my toes,” he said.

"I had exhausted everything I could think of to diagnose the source of my pain ... several MRIs, multiple injections, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and massage. It would appear to calm down and then flare right back up as soon as I resumed golf activity.”

Bowditch should be able to draw on the example of 14-times major champion Woods, who capped a successful return from spinal fusion surgery by winning the Tour Championship last month.



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