In April 2006, following a poor run of form on the US PGA Tour and suffering from acute clinical depression, Australian golfer Steven Bowditch attempted to take his own life only to be saved by the timely intervention of his then girlfriend at his condo in Dallas, Texas.Following this close call with death he immediately sought medical attention for his condition and was prescribed antidepressants. At first they didn’t work; “It went worse,” he said. “Less sleep. By then I was running on about an hour a night, if that. We went on to strong sleeping tablets to take with it. Then the thoughts, the bad thoughts of hurting myself again, they were coming very regularly. Every day was getting worse. I was starting to get my emotions back, but my emotions were all angry.”Bowditch tried to play once in May in Memphis, but couldn’t manage it and posted another DQ. He finally returned full time at the end of July and made his first cut at the end of August in Reno. He was playing with fellow Aussie Jason Day, whose caddie, Colin Swatton, was the golf professional at Bowditch’s home course of Kooralbyn part of the time Bowditch was a student there.“I remember walking down the last,” says Swatton, “and he’s right in the middle of the fairway. All he’s got to do is wedge it on and two-putt and he makes the cut. He walked down to the ball, and I said, ‘Come on, mate, let’s just finish this off.’ He says, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ That was the first glimpse I saw of it. He was nearly crying when he knocked in the putt.” After sharing confidences with his old mate from Kooralbyn, Swatton recalls seeing an episode from the Golf Channel shortly after; “I was in Ohio, and they were doing that “Grey Goose 19th Hole” and one guy was saying, ‘Oh, Steve Bowditch has picked up a new sponsor, Dairy Queen, for DQ.’ I was thinking, gosh, you don’t even know the story,” says Swatton. “He used to not be able to come out of the locker room. He’d jump in the car, and he’d be gone. They just didn’t realize.” Cruel game golf!After his poor experience with the first medication, Bowditch was put on Prozac, which helped some, and then Zoloft, which helped a great deal. A certain amount of trial and error is common since each of the medications affects the chemical composition of the brain in a slightly different way. By June 2008, under the supervision of his doctor, he was taken off medication entirely but relapse is always a concern. The people closest to him, including his mother and father, are understandably watchful.“Obviously, they’re just more concerned from the past,” Bowditch says. “I know I would know, with things like not remembering shots. There were times back then where I would sit on the next tee and I couldn’t remember hitting a golf shot. My mind was just shut off. I’d have to ask my caddie what happened. Short-term memory loss is a symptom.”Bowditch has since become associated with an Australian group called beyondblue, a nationwide depression initiative. He made a DVD for them, detailing his struggles. While he has never been able to bring himself to watch it, others have. He has received notes from people thanking him for saving their lives.Bit by bit, Bowditch started to get his life back to a point in 2009 where he actually fell back in love with life – off the course. This was in no small measure due to his relationship with future wife, Amanda Yarussi, a producer for Fox Sports. Then the wins started to come. In November 2009, he won the Queensland PGA. The NSW PGA Championship followed in May 2010, the Web.com Tour’s Soboba Golf Classic in California, October 2010 and then, four years later following a good run of consistent performances, he hit the big time.His first PGA Tour win was the 2014 Valero Texas Open, which gave him his first and only Masters start that same year – he finished a credible 26th. Then, just weeks ago, he won the AT&T Byron Nelson by four shots; at the very same location where he and wife Amanda married four years prior.Some redemption story this. One hopes it will get even better.Golfnutter
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs past Oakland Raiders strong safety Taylor Mays (27) and cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) after making a catch to help set up the Steelers game-winning field goal in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Antonio Brown’s form was so flawless, even Mary Lou Retton took notice.Then again, the 1984 Olympic all-around champion didn’t have to do her gold medal clinching vault with somebody chasing her at full speed, either. So forgive Retton if she found herself a little in awe when the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver launched into an impromptu forward flip after scoring his second touchdown in a 30-9 dusting of Cleveland last Sunday.“Way to stick that landing! Perfect 10! (hash)SteelersNation,” tweeted Retton, a West Virginia native and lifelong Steeler fan.Brown’s GIF-worthy celebration at the end of another sublime performance underscored the rarified air he finds himself in these days.The talk afterward wasn’t about Brown’s remarkable start to the 2015 season or his current two-game run that includes 27 receptions for 433 yards in successive wins over Oakland and Cleveland or even the fact he leads the NFL in yards receiving (1,141) heading into Pittsburgh’s bye week.Nope, instead Brown found himself having to defend his “look mom, no hands” routine to those who considered it a tad too dangerous, a group that included quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.“(Ben) said he wanted me to be smart but you’ve got to have fun,” Brown said. “Having fun is part of the game. Touchdowns are hard to come by.”At least they were for Brown earlier in the year. He went five straight games without scoring, a drought that coincided with Roethlisberger being sidelined by a sprained left knee. Brown’s production dipped with Michael Vick under center. His streak of consecutive games with five receptions and 50 yards ended at 35 when he caught just three balls in a 24-20 win at San Diego on Oct. 12.Brown expressed frustration afterward at what he perceived as a lack of targets from Vick, leading offensive coordinator Todd Haley to politely but firmly chastise his All-Pro.“Did (AB) get the ball enough? Yep, we won,” Haley said on Oct. 15.Haley has worked with Brown long enough to know that Brown wasn’t pouting so much as letting the competitive edge that has made him one of the league’s most dangerous weapons despite being just 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds get the best of him. Like all great players, Brown wants the ball on every play. Like all great players that aren’t quarterbacks, it’s not going to happen. The Steelers are still working on getting Brown to rein in his angst.“We all know what he’s capable of doing,” wide receivers coach Richard Mann said. “What we have to do with him is keep him focused when things aren’t going the way they should be.”Besides, the storm has long since passed. Brown hauled in six passes for 124 yards from backup Landry Jones in a loss to Kansas City on Oct. 25 and has been nearly unstoppable since Roethlisberger re-entered the lineup. Brown set franchise records with 17 receptions for 284 yards against Oakland two weeks ago and caught 10 more for 139 yards and a pair of scores while tormenting Cleveland’s overmatched secondary as Roethlisberger played through a sprained left foot.While Haley is quick to credit Brown’s relentless work ethic for making him so consistent, Haley’s creativity in moving Brown around has created favorable matchups even in the midst of near constant double coverage.On Brown’s first score last Sunday he went in motion to the left, came back to the right and was next to tight end Heath Miller at the snap. Brown ducked outside of Miller, then curled back across the middle. If it’s possible to be wide open on a 4-yard pass, Brown was wide open as he hauled in his fourth touchdown of the season. It’s not a call Haley might have made during his first season with Pittsburgh in 2012, back when Brown was still trying to emerge from the shadow of teammates Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders.“Early on, when I first got here, some things we stayed away from a little bit, because it made him make a lot of adjustments and it put him in different spots where he hadn’t been,” Haley said. “His preparation and work and our ability to be able to put him in a lot of different spots (makes him effective).”Brown sometimes goes far beyond scheme. Leading by 15 midway through the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger looked right and found Brown open across the middle after he split Cleveland’s zone. Browns defensive back Johnson Bademosi futilely gave chase, giving him the best seat in the house as Brown channeled his inner Cirque du Soleil once the ball was safely across the goal line.Yeah, it was risky. So what. He’s not ruling out doing it again if the situation presents itself.“You might get a back flip, a cartwheel,” Brown said. “We’ll see.”___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
By Jade LawtonLAWN bowls is Edith Edwards secret weapon. Edith, who has been going by the name Terry for as…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
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