Date: January 02, 2007
Author: Sportal

Appleby seeks No.4

Sportal Stuart Appleby is playing down his chances of securing a tournament record-equalling fourth straight win in the Mercedes Championship starting later this week, despite the absence of world No.1 Tiger Woods from the field. The world No.22 Australian will also be aided by the non-appearance of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen – the latter pair not qualified for the event having registered no 2006 wins on tour. But Appleby does not think he has any greater chance than anyone else in the field. “I don&apost feel like this is my home course or anything like that,” the 35-year-old told reporters at the course on Monday. “I think everybody knows how to play the course. It&aposs all about scoring here. You&aposve got to score on the short holes.” Appleby will be seeking to equal Gene Littler&aposs record of four straight wins in the event in the 1950s, when the tournament was known as the Tournament of Champions. The Australian&aposs main challengers will likely be compatriot Adam Scott, Vijay Singh and American world No.4 Jim Furyk, who is confident of his chances. “I&aposve played well here in the past with a couple of wins on this course,” said Furyk. “We&aposre all trying, every one of us, to be in this event. But it&aposs extra special. It&aposs one of my favourite vacation spots. I enjoy the area, and I enjoy the golf course a lot.”