By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
CROMWELL, Conn. -- It’s been a while since Stuart Appleby has been in contention -- so much so that Golf Channel’s Mike Ritz and Appleby had a funny little exchange about it.
“What have you found, because this has not been the most stellar year for Stuart Appleby,” Ritz said to Appleby following Appleby’s second-round 65 Friday.
“No, I almost forgot your name,” Appleby shot back. “I couldn't think who you were.”
Appleby has, however, had a forgettable year. The Aussie has just one finish in the top 25 and he’s missed more cuts -- eight -- than he’s made -- five.
Entering this week, Appleby missed two of his last three cuts and three of his last four.
“I really had to assess what was going on in my game and where I had to improve,” he said. “I was chasing around, moving putters. Didn't know when I was going to hit the hole. It just started sapping the energy.”
Appleby went back to the putter he shot 59 with in the final round of the 2010 Greenbrier Classic, which also happens to be the last time he won.
He’s also healthy after battling through a back injury early in the year and mentally in a better place, too.
It certainly showed with seven birdies on Friday for what was his best round of the year by three strokes.
“I'm thinking better. I'm getting better,” Appleby said. “I wasn't hitting it any good and I wasn't thinking any good and I was just really finding it very hard. My body and mind is a lot better, and if you get those two right, you play better golf.”