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Appleby's missing putter mystery solved

January 07, 2011

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Stuart Appleby was reunited with his Odyssey putter on Friday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions after it was located in a trailer in the Golf Channel's production compound.

Golf Channel reporter Billy Ray Brown returned the putter to Appleby on the driving range at the Plantation Course Friday morning before Appleby teed off in the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Turns out that Rick Folio, a production assistant for Golf Channel, found the putter on the practice putting green late Wednesday afternoon and, thinking it belonged to one of the amateurs in that day's pro-am, took the Odyssey White Hot XG 330 putter to the production trailer.

"Everyone was just assuming it belonged to someone from the pro-am. It was first reported that Jim Furyk might be missing his putter, then we found out that Stuart Appleby was missing his putter, and we started to put two and two together and figured out that that might be the putter," said Brandt Packer, Golf Channel's producer for live golf. "Rick was planning to take it to the Odyssey guys next week (at the Sony Open) and see if they knew who it might belong to. It was kind of a crazy deal."

"I remember laying it down on the green, Scott thought he picked it up, but he must not have, and we're still trying to piece it together, really," Appleby said after shooting a 2-over-par 75 in the second round. "Billy Ray brought it back to me this morning on the range. He said he saw it next to his computer yesterday."

Said Sajtinac: "You see a putter on a green at a PGA Tour event, don't you assume it belongs to a player? It's pretty silly."

Appleby shot 69 on Thursday while employing a $120 Odyssey Black Series 2-ball putter that came from the pro shop at Kapalua's Golf Academy. He used the same putter Friday, but didn't blame the blade for his poor round. "It's working all right. But I don't think I worked very well today," Appleby said. "The guy behind the wheel wasn't very good today."

He was relieved to have found the missing club, though he said he would wait until tomorrow to decide whether to return it to the lineup or stay with the new putter. "The bottom line is that I got it back, so it's fine. It was a happy ending," he said.

-- Dave Shedloski