Stuart Appleby was raised on a dairy farm in northern Victoria, Australia. Formerly an Australian Rules football player, Appleby turned professional in 1992 and started with the PGA Tour of Australasia. He came to the US in 1995 and played in the Nationwide Tour winning in the 1995 Nike Monterrey Open and the Nike Sonoma County Open.
He continued playing in the Australasia PGA Tour gaining victories in the 1998 Coolum Classic and the 2001 Australian Open. Playing in the US PGA Tour, he established himself as a young and upcoming star winning the Honda Classic in 1997 and earned two runner-up finishes resulting to a spot in the Tour Championship.
He went on to win the 1998 Kemper Open. In the same year, Appleby’s wife passed away but said that it gave him strength to win the 1999 Shell Houston Open defeating John Cook and Hal Sutton. The year 2000 saw him placed second at the Sony Open in Hawaii losing the tile to Paul Azinger and was member of the International Team in the Presidents Cup.
2001 was not so productive a year for Appleby falling out of the top 30 for the first time. He came back strong in 2002 with a second place finish at the British Open in Murfield with a bogey in the final hole. He was also runner-up to Phil Tataurangi in the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas and the next year, won the Las Vegas Invitational surpassing the $10 million earnings mark in 2003.
From 2004 to 2006, he became the second golfer to win the Mercedes Open three years in a row, defeating Vijay Singh in 2004 and 2005. He opened 2007 with a spot in the Presidents Cup, his fifth year so far. So far, Appleby has 15 professional wins, 9 from the PGA Tour and 3 on the PGA Tour of Australasia.In 2010, Appleby was noted to be the fifth player in the history of the PGA Tour to shoot a 59 at an official event. The said event was at the inaugural of the Greenbrier Classic.