The search for Stephen Leaney

stephen leaneyOn June 15, 2003, Stephen Leaney was in the final pairing of the US Open, three shots behind Jim Furyk. He played superb golf all week but couldn’t quite grab enough birdies at the brutal Olympia Fields and finished second to Furyk. Early 2004 saw him finish 4th at the World Golf Matchplay event and it appeared Leaney was on his way to big things.

He earned over a million dollars on Tour in 2004 and 2007 but things began to unravel in early 2008 when he began experiencing dizzy spells. The problem was soon diagnosed as an inner ear infection which affected his vestibular system and he hasn’t played on the US Tour itself.

It got Aussie Golfer thinking about exemptions on the professional golf tours and in particular Leaney’s situation with the PGA Tour. A bit of digging and a friendly email response from the good folk over at the PGA Tour led me to the PGA Tour exemptions page. It lists every type of exemption (no golf blogger one unfortunately) and there under “Major Medical Extension” is Stephen Leaney’s name.

I’ve been digging about for a few months now trying to find out what he has planned for 2009. He’s popped up in a few Australasian events and played the Nationwide event at Moonah Links which saw him finish respectably after a shocking first round. Every lead for further information though was a dead end.

Just as I was about to do something drastic, the name “Stephen Leaney” appears in the field for this week’s PGA Tour event at the Transition Championship in Florida. An aptly named event for Leaney who will aiming to move back to the big tour where he once belonged. After a pretty rough time, I hope he does well.

And Stephen, if you’re reading this, drop me an email and let me know what’s in store.

3 thoughts on “The search for Stephen Leaney

  • Nice story and great digging, Aussie Golfer. Now when I look at the scores this week, I’ll be sure to look up Stephen Leaney.

  • I’m always fascinated to hear about golfers who had one or two great finishes…or a great year… then faded into obscurity.

    I’m not quite sure what it says about golf. But I think it speaks it’s extreme the and it’s occasional magic. :o)

  • There are many examples aren’t there? It’s the fickle nature of the game I suppose. We can all relate to that “it was all working perfectly yesterday!?” problem.


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