Appleby looking to rekindle the magic

Sitting in a tie for 46th at the halfway mark of this week’s Reno-Tahoe Open, held opposite the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational, Stuart Appleby is unlikely to win the event unless he can conjure an extraordinary weekend.

It’s not like he’s not capable, as we saw at the Greenbrier Classic two years ago when a 65 and a historic 59 on Sunday lifted him to a much needed victory.

Stuart Appleby Stuart Appleby (Credit: Simon Anchorage)

Back in 2010, Appleby was playing on a one time exemption and was literally playing for his life by the time he arrived at The Greenbrier, contesting his 11th straight tournament.

The nine-time Tour winner is in the same position in 2012 and while time is running out on the season, Appleby is showing signs that he could still put together another ‘Greenbrier’ moment when it matters most.

Prior to this week’s Modified Stableford event in Reno, Appleby has returned to some solid form after a miserable season with eight missed cuts in his first twelve events.

In his past six starts however, he has missed only one cut and shot in the 60′s thirteen times in twenty-two rounds. His placings in these events are also very similar to those in his exhausting, pressure filled run in 2010 which culminated in the Greenbrier victory.

As he is not qualified for the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Appleby will have the week off to steel himself for another challenge to retain his playing privileges, starting with the Wyndham Championship from August 16 – 19.

Sitting at 144th in the FedEx Cup standings before this week, a berth in the first playoff event – The Barclays – will also elude him unless he can force his way into the Top 125 following the Wyndham.

If he does not, it’s likely he will have only the four tournaments of the ‘Fall Series’ in October and November to retain his card.

The door is closing but Appleby’s recent form and proven steely determination under fire suggests his season is not over just yet.