Having held on desperately during the final round to earn his 2013 card at the recent US PGA Tour Q-School, when he admits failure could have had dire consequences, Steven Bowditch feels better equipped to make an impact in America next year.
The 29-year-old from the Sunshine Coast, who carded a five-under 67 on Friday to move to within three strokes of 36-hole leader Daniel Popovic at the Australian PGA Championship, led going into the final round of the gruelling 108-hole tournament in which just 25 cards were on offer.
But feeling the heat as he looked to return to a tour on which he has 'never really held my own', Bowditch conceded he only brought his 'C game' with him.
In the end some steady putting coming home sealed the deal for Bowditch, who made 10, 15 and 15-foot par-saving putts at the 14th, 15th and 16th holes respectively before he landed the 'hardest golf shot I have ever had to hit' to an island green on 17.
According to Bowditch, who overcame a double bogey on Friday at the 11th at Palmer Coolum Resort with an eagle and five birdies, he learned plenty about himself on that final day in Palm Springs when a negative result could have led to a drastic decision.
"Q-School is one of the most demanding golf events I have ever had to play and those last few holes I bought my 'C' game," Bowditch said.
"I just got off to a bad start and it was going sideways, going downhill really quick and I learnt a lot about myself in that back nine.
"It was more pressure than I have ever had in any given time at any moment, if it falls the other way who knows it could be the end of my career and you know it is sort of one of those things where I was lucky enough to hang on and still finish it off.
"I don't wish that sort of pressure on anyone especially when they are not playing their best on any given day."
Twice a winner on the secondary US tour, the first of them in 2005 in the Australasian PGA Tour co-sanctioned Jacob's Creek Open Championship, Bowditch revealed he is trying to become a more consistent player.
And it is already paying off if his play so far at the PGA is anything to go by after he has rallied from slow starts both days.
"It's experience I guess is the one big thing that you learn over the years ... it just takes time and patience," he added.
"That is another good thing I have done this week with the putts not falling and still being relatively demanding off the tee at this place, you really have to use your patience.
"I think that really is what I have learnt really in the last year or so not playing so well on tour but just learning enough and learning more about myself and how to handle pressure and how to handle patience and how to handle good and bad, chalk it down to experience.
"I guess I've started to play a little more like everyone else so to speak in the way of how aggressive I play off the tee and all that kind of stuff.
"I've just sort of reeled it in a little bit just to try and get there more on the weekend and try and gain experience that way rather than either winning a golf tournament or missing the cut and just sort of trying to slowly move into the golf event."
As for this weekend, he believes if he can putt like he did at Palm Springs he is a big chance.
"Yeah I haven't been putting real well this week, it's been a bit of a struggle this week to get back to Bermuda greens ... getting used to the grain," he said.
"Today wasn't too bad, I just hit it a little bit closer I thought I hit it better yesterday, had a couple of chip ins too which was nice.
"All in all I just have to start making a few more putts."