Allenby wins fourth Oz PGA title
An in-form Robert Allenby captured the Australian PGA Championship for a fourth time in Sydney on Sunday.
Robert Allenby captured the Australian PGA Championship for a fourth time on Sunday when he cruised to his second win in as many weeks by four shots from fellow-Australians John Senden and Scott Strange.
Having already claimed the Kirkwood Cup in 2000, 2001 and 2005, Allenby carded a second-straight five-under 66 to finish at 14 under at Coolum and so, a week after ending a four-year title drought at the lucrative Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, Allenby’s late decision to add this week’s event to his schedule paid handsome dividends.
The seasoned US PGA Tour regular grabbed five birdies and never surrendered the lead on the final day.
Indeed, so impressive was he, particularly with his putting which has not always been the strongest part of his game, he was able to play the final 23 holes of the tournament without dropping a shot.
He collected seven birdies in that stretch and made only one bogey in a final 33 holes that featured 11 birdies.
Since turning professional in late 1991, Allenby has been the most dominant winner of the Australians on home soil during that period. Yesterday’s victory brought his tally to 13, but it was his first win in Australia since that memorable triple crown of the Masters, PGA and Open in 2005.
The South African win was financially rewarding to the tune of $1.3 million, but this PGA title was sweeter, he said, even though worth $1 million less.
”I did what I had to do, from the first hole to the last. I knew I had some very, very tough competitors behind me and I have a lot of respect for them. I tried to hit as many fairways, as many greens, as I could and make the odd putt,” Allenby said.
”I felt totally in control on every shot, so it’s a nice feeling to win in that fashion. To do that under the gun in the final round is pretty special. This is a fantastic way to finish the year and to have four Australian PGA titles now is pretty awesome.”
Six of his rivals spent time within a stroke of the lead, his playing partner Strange doing so for five holes after he made successive birdies at the fifth and sixth holes, but Allenby’s fine form with his claw grip on the putter allowed him to slam the door firmly shut.
Senden and Strange had to settle for a share of second at 10 under, the former closing with a 67 while Strange shot 69 and another Australian, Marc Leishman, closed with a 68 for outright fourth at nine under.
One shot further back were 2006 PGA winner Nick O’Hern (67) and rising star Michael Sim (70) in equal fifth while Rod Pampling (65), defending champion Geoff Ogilvy (71), Stuart Appleby (68) and New Zealander Josh Geary (68) rounded out the top 10 on seven under.
Tournament drawcard John Daly, who spoke candidly on Saturday of his desire to help world number one Tiger Woods through the crisis in his private life, finished the event at one over par overall after signing for a second-straight 72.
The dual major winner had dropped three shots overall through 12 holes after a triple-bogey eight at the 12th hole, but recovered to even par with three late birdies before a bogey at his 72nd hole.
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