DARK horse Stuart Appleby has clinched his first Australian victory in nine years with a six under par final-round charge to take the 2010 JBWere Masters by one stroke at the Melbourne’s Victoria Golf Club.
The 39 year old Victorian started the day seven shots behind overnight leader Adam Bland and kept the pressure mounting with an almost flawless bogey free round.
Bland appeared unassailable early on but faltered with five bogeys and three birdies to shoot 73.
Appleby, who won a US PGA Tour event this year with a final round 59 and has eight other US tour titles under his belt, knew what to do to get the job done while those above him on the leaderboard, including Daniel Gaunt and Andre Stolz fell by the wayside.
Appleby said he drew inspiration from his final-round 59 when he came from seven shots back to win the Greenbrier Classic back in August.
“I was trying to think today about that round and what I was doing. I was just trying to be that guy,” Appleby said.
Appleby finished on 10 under with Bland (73) one stroke back and Gaunt (71) third on eight under.
Tiger Woods finally found some form on the back nine, picking up six shots including two eagles in the final six holes.
He finished with a 65, three behind the leader, and made positive noises about returning for the tournament next year.
Dates are still uncertain because of negotiations surrounding the President’s Cup, which will be staged in Melbourne in November.
High profile international import Camillo Villegas shot a final-round 70 to finish at three under while Spaniard Sergio Garcia carded a 70 to finish at plus one.