Date: August 28, 2014
Author: Golf Australia

Appleby had doubts over future

<image="1" align="left" />

Stuart Appleby has admitted he had doubts about his future as a touring golfer during his darkest moments of recent years. Appleby, who has soared back into Fedex Cup contention with his near-win in The Barclays in New York last week, has revealed a degree of persistence that is admirable, through a period when back pain almost crippled him.

 "I've certainly had doubts about my future this the game, wondering whether it's worth it,'' he said at TPC Boston today, where he is preparing for the Deutsche Bank Championship. "Wondering where was the old guy? Getting all those things — whatever I used to do, how do you get them all back? My back hasn't been crash hot. And I've lost some swing capabilities in length and strength and other things. But the game just keeps giving you opportunities.

 "It keeps giving you the smallest signals and the smallest signs, and being tuned into knowing those things and working with them or being unbelievably patient or just keeping that pilot light alive. I can do this. That's why anybody can win out of anywhere out of one week. It's not like tennis. There's 10 guys that are going to win a tennis tournament at the most, whereas (in) golf there's 50 guys, 100 guys.''

 The veteran Australian is sitting 19th on the Fedex Cup points table after finishing tied-second in the first playoff event last week, coming close to winning for the first time in four, long years. It means he is guaranteed to get through to the next round, the BMW Championship, and with an excellent chance of progressing to the Tour Championship in Atlanta, which is for the top 30 players.

 Appleby, 43,  said golf required its players to be "unbelievably resilient'' lest they be left out in the cold, adding that his own priorities had changed as his family grew.  "I love this sport, I want to play well. I practise as hard as the next guy, but the sport doesn't taste the same as what it used to, as it did as a 25 or 35 year old. Every 10 years, even you guys can say life is not the same, and that's good or bad, whatever you want to make out of it. I know I'm a veteran on the Tour. Senior Tour is just down the road. I don't feel like that guy, but that's what it is.

 "The Jordan Spieths or whatever, they're ready to push the older guys off the Tour. It's like a cycle. They're ready to move you on, push you on and they're hitting it far. So I think all of us — Kenny Perry is a great example of somebody that played well into his career, Vijay Singh, and Steve Stricker, partly retired. I think a guy in his 40s, we admire a guy to be able to do that, and play golf like he does. But, yes, we all have different prerogatives. ''

 The Australian, a nine-time winner in America who spent a lot of time in the world's top 10 players, said his putting was the difference last week. "I'm not the flushest ball-striker there is, and I don't hit it miles and I don't hit it straight all the time. When I do play well I tend to putt well. That's something I haven't done well for a long time. It was nice that week, to feel the ball rolling. I think I had 23, 24 putts on Sunday. So if you're going to pick one part of your game you want to be consistent, putting would be the one. Putting will outrun anything else in your game, hands down. It will recover an average round, it will dominate a beautiful round.''

 Eight Australians are teeing it up in Boston, most of them safe in the knowledge that they will get through to the top 70 and the BMW apart from Geoff Ogilvy, who sneaked into this week's field in the 100th and final place. Ogilvy needs a big week to keep his season going, while Appleby, Adam Scott (16th) and Jason Day (seventh) are the best-placed to become the first Australian to win the tour's $10 million bonus and the Fedex Cup.

 Hunter Mahan is ranked first after his victory in New York. There are three tournaments remaining, all worth $8 million.


 Jason Day (7)

Adam Scott (16)

Stuart Appleby (19)

John Senden (28)

Marc Leishman (36)

Steven Bowditch (44)

Matt Jones (54)

Geoff Ogilvy (100)