APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.

APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.

It is the little things in life that professional golfer Stuart

Appleby misses most about his late wife, Renay.

When they arrived to new cities and drove to golf courses together,

Stuart would drive while Renay would navigate the route. Once there,

Renay – a former top amateur player who caddied for Stuart during parts

of his rookie season on the PGA Tour in 1996 – could help him plot his

strategy, or offer a few simple words of encouragement at those times he

needed them most.

Even on nights when he would hit practice balls until darkness

fell, they managed to have thoughtful conversations that delivered a

quality ending to an otherwise hectic day.

“There are a million little things that you miss,”

Appleby said through intermittent tears Tuesday at Sahalee Country Club,

where he’ll return to competition at the 80th PGA Championship today. “It’s not the big things. It’s all the little things.

They all add up. They make someone’s life.”

Renay Appleby died less than three weeks ago after being struck by

a cab outside a train station in London shortly before she and Stuart

were scheduled to board a train to Paris. She was 25.

Stuart Appleby, 27, has been advised that the best way to deal with

this unthinkable tragedy is to believe in his heart that Renay is still

here with him. So he talks a lot about her, doesn’t shy from

mentioning her name and he even laughs when retelling a joke the two

might have shared. A keen sense of humor was one of Renay’s

strongest suits.

He tries to convince his own mind she still is here with him, and

then he encounters the cruelest hoax of the approach: Several times

Tuesday, Appleby stood in the fairway during his practice round, cutting

a solitary figure against the backdrop of majestic Douglas fir and red

cedar trees, peering across the gallery ropes, scanning past faceless

fans.

He always could find Renay in the crowd. And no longer is she there

for him.

“The toughest times are . . . probably when you do a lot of

thinking,” he said. “You have so many questions, and you

don’t have answers. You just wish that things were

different.”

Appleby is an Australian who makes his U.S. home in Orlando, where

he and Renay moved into an Isleworth house that became her spirited

passion shortly before the 1998 golf season.

He said he faced two options after his wife’s tragic death:

“I could dig myself into a hole and lose all the potential I

had,” he said, or he could consider himself lucky to have

known Renay for the years he did. He chooses the latter.

“We had a lot of good times,” he said. “I feel like

she was first prize of a raffle, so to speak, in life and picking

partners. I was lucky enough to win her.”

Appleby arrived to Sahalee knowing that returning to the game he

loves is what Renay would have wanted him to do.

“She’d have told him, `Get off your (butt), get back on the

horse and go,’ ” said Robert Allenby, one of his closest

friends. “It’s the quietest times that are the toughest. This is

the first time he’s been on his own, staying by

himself.”

Added Frank Nobilo, “Something like this will either mar you or

make you. It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy. Hopefully, Stuart is

strong enough to deal with this.”

Renay White and Stuart Appleby met at a luggage carousel at Los

Angeles International Airport in 1992, when they were part of an

Australian golf team set to compete against U.S. teams in a handful of

exhibitions. Renay did not like Stuart at first, mistaking his shyness

for snobbery. When Appleby’s long-time coach, Steve, paired the two

for a match, Renay asked out. They played. A month later, they began

dating.

They married in December 1996, and as a team, they rode out the

highs and lows of his pro golf career. He struggled as a rookie in

’96 but broke through in 1997 to win the Honda Classic and surpass

$1 million in earnings. He was in the midst of another strong season in

1998.

Twenty-one days ago, in an instant, their life together was

shattered. Last week, Stuart sat in a cemetery in Australia, placing

fresh flowers on his wife’s grave. There are so many questions to

which he never will receive answers.

Sadly, Appleby now finds himself all alone again in one of the

loneliest games in sports. He said he will learn to share moments once

shared with Renay with his friends and family.

Appleby will make the journey ahead in many stages. Getting through

his wife’s funeral was a step. Returning to golf will be a step.

Getting back to Orlando, and to his home in Isleworth, will be another

big step, one he dreaded not long ago. But now he knows he must face

that as part of the evolution of surviving his tragedy.

“You don’t forget somebody like Renay, someone that means

that much to you,” he said.

CAPTION(S):

Photo, Box

PHOTO (Color) “There are a million little things that you miss. .

. . They make someone’s life.”

– Stuart Appleby

on the death of his wife

BOX: TODAY`S TEE TIMES

APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.
APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.
APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.
APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.
APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.

APPLEBY IS PLAYING IN PAIN; GOLFER'S WIFE WAS KILLED LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AGO.

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