In just his second start of the Tour season Stuart Appleby came up trumps at the El Bosque Mexico Championship, claiming Australian bragging rights with a top-20 result.

Appleby, who lost his status on the PGA TOUR at the end of last season, teed up for just the second time this season on the secondary American circuit and posted a 7-under total to be T18.

Appleby fired Rounds of 68-75-68-70 as he overtook Rhein Gibson on the final day, the in-form Lismore native enduring a difficult back-9 on his way to a 2-over 74.

Gibson, who began the year with top-3 finishes in each of the first two tournaments, began the day in contention for another top-10 but never got things going on Sunday.

Birdies at each of the first two holes suggested otherwise but Gibson found the going tough after the blistering start as he turned even par for the day before three bogies against a lone birdie dropped him to T25.

Cameron Percy was the only other Australasian to make the cut and finished 2-under for the week and T39.

Brett Drewitt and Tim Wilkinson missed the cut by one while Jamie Arnold was well back after uncharacteristic rounds of 76-77.