Date: October 12, 2006

The Long Drive Home By Stuart Appleby

Former Australian Open champion Stuart Appleby admits that his 2001 victory on home soil was one of his proudest moments. Now the one-time Australian rules footballer sets his sights on another Open title. It’s extremely important to have the Australian Open on your list of career titles. The event has a long and established history and that in itself makes this tournament prestigious. I enjoy playing the tournament because quite simply, it s the Australian Open it’s that important to me. Winning the Open at the Grand in 2001 was a very proud moment for me. I came close back in 1998 at Royal Adelaide, and I can t wait to hold the trophy aloft again in the near future. I love coming home to Australia. It’s my favourite place to get away from it all, although my time at home never seems to be long enough. Life on the tour can be grueling, but I love traveling from city to city, something I really only dreamed of as a boy growing up in a small town in northern Victoria. I think I ll miss the pace when I retire from professional golf. When I m away, if I m not on the course I m at my computer. An absolute Internet junkie, just ask my wife! At my base in Orlando, Florida I become Mr Fix-It. I love working around the house doing odd jobs and tinkering with my cars. But there s not much time for anything other than golf when I get back to Australia. Having the local tournaments so close to the end of the year keeps us on our toes ahead of the New Year s opening event of the US PGA Tour. It’s great to play for the Aussie crowd. Not only is there strong support, but they are golf savvy people that appreciate the art of our game. I really look forward to seeing you next month for the MFS Australian Open at Royal Sydney. It’s going to be a great event which will truly embrace and celebrate Australian golf.