It has been seven years since the last of Appleby’s nine PGA Tour victories and recent form had not suggested a performance of this nature was about to unfold. Appleby has not recorded even a top twenty PGA Tour finish in the last twelve months as he has mixed both Web.Com and PGA Tour events on his schedule.
“I started making some around John Deere,” said Appleby yesterday when explaining his apparent turnaround in form. “You know, five, six a round, not every round, but I was getting the feeling of momentum because I couldn't hit it solid for 18 holes. And certainly, if I made the cut, which was rare, I couldn't play well, decent for 72 holes.
“We don't have any courses like this in Australia,” he added referring to the success of Australians in this event of late including Greg Chalmers last year and Geoff Ogilvy two years ago.
“It resembles nothing like we're used to. I don't know. We've done all right.”“So Greg (Chalmers) did well last year, and I was talking to Greg the other day and he said effectively this was going to be his last PGA TOUR event. He thought he could have come back here even if he didn't win. He had a bit of a c'est la vie, is my French for you, attitude for the tournament. And he ended up winning.”
“It's really been my back has really been the decider on whether I -- that's why today I sort of unfortunately have had enough warm-up rounds and know my body well now, I can sort of tell where it's going. “
Matt Jones is the next best of the Australians in a share of 28th position with 15 points, Peter Lonard is next in 34th place with 14 points, Geoff Ogilvy and defending champion Greg Chalmers have 11 points and Aaron Baddeley and Curtis Luck and Brett Drewitt have made the cut on the number with 10 points.
Lonard was a last-minute call up for the event, in fact on Tuesday morning he was still the number three reserve but later that day he was informed by PGA Tour he was in.
“I had decided that if I had not heard by Tuesday evening I would be heading back to Australia,” said Lonard who last week finished 3rd in his debut in senior golf at the Senior Open Championship in Wales.
“I thought they were referring to the Champions Tour initially when they called but pleased with things so far and feel I am playing well. The difference between playing it along the ground last week in Wales and now hitting it at elevation up here is interesting.”
BEN DONEY BUNKER RULES