Blog Entry

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

Posted on: December 13, 2010 2:46 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 2:46 pm
 

ORLANDO, Fla. -- We Floridians are used to some odd and largely indefensible outcomes in our elections, for good reason.

Maybe this is another example why they use the electoral college for the important things.

The Florida-based PGA Tour on Monday announced its last award of the 2010 season when Aussie veteran Stuart Appleby was voted the Comeback Player of the Year.

In a vote of tour members, he bested India's Arjun Atwal and U.S. veteran Rocco Mediate for the award, granted annually to a player who has overcome some sort of obstacle, personally or professionally.

Appleby overcame what, exactly? Apathy?

After struggling through an uncharacteristically bad 2009 season, the popular Australian was outside the top 125 in earnings coming down the stretch when he told the Golf Channel that he would be skipping the season finale at Disney World and heading to Australia instead. That's not the most surprising part. Disney is located about eight miles from his back door at Isleworth Country Club in Windermere, Fla., where Appleby makes his American home.

Rather than try to salvage his season in credible fashion, Appleby instead elected to put the arm on tournaments for one of their limited sponsor exemptions in 2010. He eventually won the first-year Greenbrier event, shooting 59 in the final round, a creditable achievement, to be sure.

Mediate was an interesting nominee to begin with, since it was just two years ago that he faced Tiger Woods in a playoff for the U.S. Open title. Mediate this year won the Frys.com event outside San Jose in the Fall Series.

The case for Atwal was perhaps most interesting of all. A former European Tour winner player who had lost his U.S. card, he had no status when he won at Greensboro after wedging his way into the field via the difficult Monday qualifying process. But winning the comeback award would have been an uncomfortable issue for the tour, since Atwal was involved in a fatal car accident near his Orlando home in 2007 in which the Florida Highway Patrol and witnesses believed he was racing a man who was killed when the latter's car veered off the road.

While no charges ultimately were filed by the state attorney against Atwal relating to the wreck, it marked the first time in decades that a PGA Tour player was linked to an accidental death. Needless to say, any perceived comeback award after such an emotionally charged incident would have been a tough one for the image-conscious tour to stomach.

Continuing its ridiculous policy, the PGA Tour did not release the voting totals of any of its peer-ballot awards from 2010.

To me, the guy who should have won -- and he wasn't even on the ballot -- is Matt Kuchar, who led the tour in earnings and scoring average, then made the Ryder Cup team, just four years removed from being sent down to the Nationwide Tour for more seasoning.

There's a winner who wouldn’t have raised a single eyebrow.

Comments

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 7:30 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

it will be Tiger in 2011, just wait.



Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:34 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

he"ll be next years winner...or loser 



Since: May 22, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 1:09 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

that's next year.



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 1:09 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

"Comeback" and "most improved" awards are usually arbitrary and meaningless -  Do they really need to have to come up with a "comeback" award every year?  I think you have a Rookie of the Year award, and Player of the year award and call it a day - 



Since: Jan 27, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2010 10:34 am
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

who?



Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: December 13, 2010 11:09 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

At the end of the day I guess we really have to see what the PGA lists or describes as a comeback award...but Ken Green sounds like more of a comeback award than appleby.



Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:31 pm
 

Kuchar

Kuchar?  Comeback player of the year for turning it around the past 4 years?  What kind of logic is that?  What did Kuchar comeback from?  Seems like he has just been gradually improving . . .like many PGA players do.  I agree the award is pretty poor, but to say Kuchar is a non-controversial selection . . .that makes no sense.



Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:26 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

It's just as funny as Steve Stricker winning it.....in back to back years!  How do you come back....from a "Come Back" performance?



Since: May 25, 2009
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:14 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

At least it wasn't Tiger Woods.



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2010 7:04 pm
 

For Appleby, comeback not a long walkabout

Comeback awards are usually one of the lamest awards of the year.  If nobody truly made a comeback from something worthy of being dubbed a comebackable accomplishment just WAIVE the award that year.  There's no shame in that, and no awkward acceptance sppech when a guy realizes everybody thought he was dead or totally sucked the last year or someting. Ken Green on the Champions Tour played the tour with a fake leg this year, that's a COMEBACK.  The bad year to good year comeback is just part of the cycle of being on the PGA.  Stu seems like a cool guy, but the award should be shelved this year.


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