Date: August 20, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Leaney better for diet change

After losing his US Tour card earlier this month you might have expected Australian Stephen Leaney to be full of doom and gloom on his return to Europe this week. But the former US Open runner-up is anything but – he is hopeful that a change of diet has finally ended the vertigo nightmare which threatened his career. Forty-year-old Leaney went six months without playing last year because of the problem and underwent innumerable tests and scans. Then his trainer suggested cutting out dairy products and not only has the improvement in his condition been fast and dramatic, but his two young children have been healthier as well. “I&aposve also stopped eating meat,” said Leaney. “That was the hardest thing, but I&aposve not felt this good for two or three years and it was amazing how quickly it fixed it.” “I was fairly sceptical about whether it would bring results, but I was running out of options and all the medication I was given didn&apost work.” “Nobody knew what was wrong with me. There was a thought that I was diabetic because I was so tired all the time, but standing over the ball I just never felt I was still.” The most puzzling part was that on returning to Australia he felt better and then within days of going back to his home in Dallas things got worse again. The US Tour granted Leaney a medical extension, for only for his first 11 events this season and he had to earn nearly $700,000 to keep his membership. That never looked likely and he ended up missing the halfway cut in nine of them. “I also fell just $3000 short of earning a place on the Nationwide Tour, so now I&aposve got to wait for the qualifying school at the end of the season.” Hence his trip to The Netherlands for the KLM Open, an event he won in 1998 and 2000. Leaney is also seeking an invitation to next week&aposs Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland, but has not heard anything yet. French Ryder Cup player Thomas Levet was also put out of golf by vertigo a few years ago. Leaney added: “Yeah, I spoke to Thomas and he fixed it through exercise. David Duval had a problem too and obviously for a golfer it&aposs a serious thing.” Last year&aposs European No.1 Robert Karlsson has been suffering balance and vision difficulties this year and has not played since the end of May, but that was diagnosed as a blister behind a retina.