Stuart Appleby's emergence as one of the finest golfers in the world is a far cry his formative years on a dairy farm in Cohuna where he used to hit golf balls paddock to paddock as a part of his practice regime.
Stuart's talents were rewarded with a scholarship to the Victorian Institute of Sport. If confirmation was needed, his ability shone through in 1991 when he won the Victorian Amateur Championship, the Australian Junior Championship and the Queensland Open as an amateur.
Stuart turned professional at the end of the following year and although he recorded a couple of top ten finishes in each of his first two seasons on the Australasian Tour, it did not meet the high expectations that had been set for him. All that changed in 1994 when he won four tournaments on the Foundation Tour: the Victorian PGA Championship, South Australia PGA Championship, Nedlands Masters and the Tassie Classic.
With confidence restored Stuart enjoyed a highly successful 1995 season winning the Monterrey and Sonoma Opens on the BUY.COM Tour in the United States to finish fifth on their money list and earn a spot on the US Tour. Despite finishing in the top 10 in New Orleans, the 1996 season proved disappointing and in the fall of that year Stuart found himself back at the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
Undaunted he regained his playing privileges and enjoyed a triumphant return to the Tour in 1997 to establish himself as one of the game's rising young stars. He won the Honda Classic, finished second twice and became the first Qualifying School graduate to earn more than US$1million in the following season.
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