Date: October 03, 2017
Author: Tony Durkin

Appleby career starts at Brisbane

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Queensland greats Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Wayne Grady went on to win golf majors after impressing at the Queensland Open, but for young Victorian Stuart Appleby a victory at The Brisbane Golf Club kick-started an imposing professional career.

Norman, arguably Australia’s most successful golfer, won the first of his two British Opens three years after saluting at the Queensland Open in 1983, while Baker-Finch also ironically won the British Open three years after he had won his own state’s Open, in 1990. And after finishing second in the Queensland Open in 1984, Grady went on to win the USA PGA six years later.

For Appleby though, victory at The Brisbane Golf Club in 1991 – the venue of this year’s Isuzu Queensland Open – was the springboard for a professional career that earned him nine wins on the prestigious US PGA Tour.

The fifth player in history to shoot a 59 in an official PGA Tour event, Appleby turned professional the year after his win at TBGC. He has been a member of the International Team in the Presidents Cup five times, featured in the top 10 official World Golf Ranking in 2004 and an unsuccessful four-way play-off at the British Open in 2002 has been his best performance in a major championship.

But players’ liking for the layout at Brisbane Golf Club started well before Appleby shot his 11-under total of 277 (71-70-70-66) to beat Adelaide professional Mike Sprengel in 1991.

Inaugural Queensland Open winner Harry Sinclair won twice over a period of seven years, both times at Brisbane. He won as an amateur in 1925 and as a professional in 1931.

New South Welshman Eric Cremin was another to establish a successful affinity with the Yeronga layout, winning four of his five Queensland Opens at The Brisbane Golf Club.

His first was in 1946, when the tournament resumed following a break between 1941 and 1945 because of the second World War. Cremin won again at Brisbane in 1948, 1950 and 1956, with a victory at Royal Queensland in 1957 his other Queensland Open triumph.

The great Norman Von Nida, a seven-time winner of the Queensland Open who shares the record for the most victories and was the first golfer to win the event in three successive years, also played well at the same venue as the 2017 event. Two of those three wins in succession – 1935-37 – were at the Brisbane Golf Club.

Other winners at Brisbane have been Dick Carr (1926), Tom Howard (1927), Arthur Gazzard (1929), Jack Radcliffe (1933), Jim Ferrier (1939), Kel Nagle (1959), Tim Woolbank (1969), Ian Stanley (1975), Bob Risch (1978) and the last year’s winner when the tournament returned to its original home, Brett Coletta. Those who won as amateurs were Sinclair, Radcliffe, Ferrier, Appleby and Coletta.

The Isuzu Queensland Open, to be staged for the 93rd time from Thursday October 26 to Sunday October 29, will be the second held at TBGC in 26 years. Until 1991 The Brisbane Golf Club had been the virtual home of the Open from the inaugural event in 1924, previously staging the tournament a record 18 times until it returned ‘home’ last year.

The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played from 26-29 October 2017 at The Brisbane Golf Club. For more information visit