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Golf News: - Posted 24th July 1998

Stuart Appleby devastated by wife's death

Reuters

Sydney, Australia - Australian golf star Stuart Appleby is expected to return home next week with the body of his wife, who was killed on Thursday in a London car accident.

Appleby's wife Renay, 25, was knocked down by a car as the couple prepared to catch the Eurostar train to Paris. They were planning a short vacation before he played in next week's Scandinavian Masters in Sweden.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman told reporters Renay Appleby was killed while she was unloading luggage from a taxi outside Waterloo Station.

A car reversed as she walked towards the kerb, pinning her against the car behind it. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

News of her death has stunned the world's golfing community.

"All of us at the PGA Tour are shocked and saddened by the news of Renay Appleby's death," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stuart at this difficult time."

Renay was well known on the international golf circuit.

A scholarship holder at the Australian Institute of Sport, she met Appleby in 1992 when they were paired together during a tournament in the United States.

She won a number of amateur tournaments in Australia, including the 1994 South Pacific Women's Classic, before following Appleby to the United States when he qualified for the secondary Nike Tour in 1995.

She caddied for him in his early days in America, first on the Nike Tour, then on the main U.S. PGA Tour.

She gave up caddying in 1996, shortly before Appleby broke through to win his first major title, the 1997 Honda Classic in Florida. The pair married in December that year.

Martin Jolly, the head of International Management Group which looks after Appleby's affairs, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio on Friday that the golfer was devastated by the loss of his wife.

"While golf is a huge part of his life, the most important thing to him was Renay, his family and his friends," Jolly said.

"That's the sort of fellow he is. He was there with Renay when this happened. He was in the hospital for a few hours.

"He's obviously in a state of shock. This is just a tragic thing that has happened to Stuart and I just hope he can pull through."