Tom Patri: Red-hot Appleby has overcome adversity

Last week Stuart Appleby won a golf tournament. Big deal you might say. Great players win golf tournaments. Well folks, for those of you who don't know in the last several years Stuart has won at more than golf. He has won at life. Won after he was at the depths of being lost. Not so many years ago, outside a London hotel, the week after the British Open, his beautiful wife was crushed to death between two cars, in front of his eyes, while loading baggage. For some time as you can imagine, he floundered on tour. He was at the time of this event a rising star with enormous upside potential.

Several years later after stabilizing what most have been a living hell, he seems grounded. You may have noticed after he holed the winning putt on the 18th green at Hilton Head, he was greeted by his new wife, and young child. I'm sure the previous Mrs. Appleby is looking down from above happy for the man she so loved. Happy he is OK, and back on the path he so deserves. You see, Stuart Appleby is one of the really hard-working, good guys on the PGA Tour. He is, in my humble estimation, now the best player in the world without one of the "Big Four" on his mantle. I hope that happens for this wonderful Aussie.

Tom Patri's teaching academy has moved to Lely Resort, with an indoor studio open at The Health Club of Naples on Immokalee Road. Patri is one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers in America. He can be reached at tpatri@mindspring.com. To set up a lesson, contact Brandi Hanson at 597-0787 or e-mail brandih@thehealthclubofnaples.com, or go to www.tompatri.com.

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