Allenby triumphs in Sun City play-off

Robert Allenby ended four years without a win at the Nedbank Challenge on Sunday, but he had to go to sudden death.

Australia’s seasoned Robert Allenby ended four years without a win with victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday, but he had to go to a sudden-death play-off before he could hold the trophy high.
In his 11th play-off victory in 12 attempts, Allenby beat defending champion Henrik Stenson at the third extra hole at Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club.
The pair had both picked up bogeys at the closing hole to finish on the 11-under-par mark of 277 and then parred the 502-yard 18th twice before Swede Stenson bogeyed it again on the third extra hole.
Allenby had struck a glorious second to seven feet here and two-putted for a first prize of more than £720,000.
It was his first success since his 2005 hat-trick of Australian Open, PGA and Masters titles.
“I’m glad that’s over,” a clearly relieved Allenby, who has been in the hunt since he led the first round, said after it was finally all over
“After bogeying the 72nd I knew I had a second chance and my record in play-offs is pretty good.
“I did think we were going to be here all night at one stage, but once I saw Henrik hit it out right (with his approach to the green on the third extra hole), I knew he had a difficult shot.
“The only thing in my mind then was hitting my six-iron straight at the pin and I hit it absolutely perfectly.”
Stenson earned more than £364,000 in finishing runner-up for the second Sunday running. Last week it was with Robert Karlsson at the World Cup in China.
England’s Ross Fisher and South African Tim Clark tied for third on 10-under, Fisher just missing a 20-footer to make the play-off, while Retief Goosen, two in front overnight, had an off day, too often being short with his vaunted irons and even with his putter, and he tumbled down the leaderboard to fifth with a disappointing 75.
Stenson, winner by nine on 21 under last year, came from four back to one in front thanks to an eagle on the 10th and birdies at the 13th, 15th and 17th, but there were also two bogey sixes on his card and he three-putted the last for a 69.
Allenby then moved in front with a 14-footer on the 17th before pushing his approach and failing to get up and down.
He had to make a five-footer to stay alive on the first extra hole and at the next saved his par after driving into sand.
Things started going wrong for Goosen when he left a bunker shot in the sand at the fifth and then, like Stenson, found the lake at the ninth and took another six after a wild second to the 14th.