Dec
15
2010
Stuart Appleby Awarded Best-Player-to-Comeback-From-Sucking Honors
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

It’s unclear why the PGA Tour asks players to vote for one of its peers as Comeback Player of the Year. I mean, it sounds flattering, but isn’t it sort of a backhanded compliment? It’s like reminding a guy that he had a crappy year, but he’s not the greatest player in the world — he’s just the best that recovered from slumping in recent years. Or, you can see it as having the tenacity to fight back!

This year Stuart Appleby edged out Arjun Atwal and Rocco Mediate for the award. Appleby had the worst season of his career in 2009, but he ended a four-year winless streak, firing a closing 59 to capture the Greenbrier Classic. Of course, his 59 was very impressive, especially since he was only the second player in PGA Tour history to card the magical number in the final round.

Appleby finished 137th on the 2009 money list, putting his status in jeopardy. He used a one-time exemption for career money to keep his job. Along with his win at Greenbrier, he had four other top-25 finishes and ranked 38th on the 2010 money list. He’ll get to play at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he’s a three-time champion (2004, 2005 and 2006).

Appleby capped off his year with a victory at the Australian Masters.