Date: October 28, 2008
Author: Brandon Cohen

Appleby coming home

Stuart Appleby is going back to where it all began as he bids for a first tournament win on Australian soil in seven years. The world No.34 on Tuesday confirmed his attendance at the 2008 Australian PGA Championships at Coolum in December, joining compatriots Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott and Peter Lonard in the field for what will be Australia&aposs first carbon neutral golf championship. South African Tim Clark and American Paul Goydos were confirmed as the first international players for the tournament, which will be held from December 4-7. Appleby, whose breakthrough Australasian Tour victory came at the Coolum Classic a decade ago, has not won in his home country since 2001 when he took out the Australian Open. But the 37-year-old said he was feeling relaxed and confident ahead of the Australian summer following a successful season on the US PGA Tour. “I&aposm really looking forward to playing at the PGA Championship, it&aposs a fantastic event and a spectacular resort,” he said at the launch of the PGA of Australia&aposs Summer of Golf at Melbourne&aposs Eureka Tower on Tuesday morning. “Coolum was actually the site of my first Aussie Tour victory back in 1998 when it was the Coolum Classic so it brings back great memories.” Appleby, who recently hired mind coach Gio Valiante to help him overcome his perceived mental fragility that has kept him from challenging the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, has had an excellent year with seven top-10 finishes and 14 in the top 25, leaving him 17th overall on the money list. Clark, who lies 26th on the money list after three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in 2008, heads to Coolum as the world No.39, while 44-year-old Goydos is coming off a second-place finish at the 2008 Players Championship where he was beaten in a playoff by Sergio Garcia. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour of Australasia has announced a revised summer schedule with seven events in six weeks. The Victorian Open kicks off the summer on January 29 followed by the Victorian PGA Championship and the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth in February, which will feature the likes of Greg Norman and England&aposs Lee Westwood and Paul Casey. There are also three Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned events on the calendar, with the Moonah Classic in Victoria to be followed by the New Zealand PGA Championship and then the New Zealand Open. 2009 Australasian Tour schedule Jan 26-Feb 1: Victorian Open, Woodlands Golf Club, Mordialloc, VIC, $110,000 Feb 2-8: Victorian PGA Championship, Sanctuary Lakes Resort, Sanctuary Lakes, VIC, $110,000 Feb 10: IFQ for The Open Championship, Kingston Heath GC, Melbourne, Victoria Feb 16-22: Johnnie Walker Classic, The Vines Golf Club, Perth, WA, 1,250,000 pounds Feb 23-Mar 1: Moonah Classic, Moonah Links Golf Club, Fingal, VIC, US$700,000 March 2-7: NZ PGA Championship, Clearwater Resort & Golf Club, Christchurch, New Zealand, US$600,000 March 8-14: NZ Open, The Hills Golf Club, Queenstown, New Zealand, US$600,000