Allenby wins four-way playoff to claim first Gold jacket
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2003 MasterCard Masters | Wrap | 07 Dec 2003
» Robert Allenby Interview
It was a case of the last man standing when an ailing Robert Allenby outlasted Adam Scott, Craig Parry and Jarrod Moseley to win his first MasterCard Australian Masters.
Allenby, who has suffered all week from a debilitating virus, had enough energy to outlast his high class playoff opponents when he birdied the second extra hole after he and Adam Scott had extended the playoff by birdieng the first hole in “extra time”. That meant that Craig Parry and Jarrod Moseley would drop out and they would be assured of a tie for second with whoever would be the loser between Allenby and Scott.
Allenby smashed a drive over the left hand bunkers the second time around in the playoff and found himself perfectly positioned.
“I wanted to take the left hand line from the tee and knew I could carry that bunker even though it is a 270 metre carry. I had done it earlier and in order to access that right hand flag I wanted to be in the left half of the fairway and it worked out perfectly.”
Scott would find the now famous left hand trap and, although he hit a fine recovery to 13 metres and hit a fine putt, Allenby’s brilliant approach sealed the deal when he converted from a metre and a half.
It was yet another example of what the Mastercard Australian Masters has become.
Every year it seems to produce a gripping finish. Last year it was three way playoff and this year it was four. It could well have been more as Peter Lonard bogeyed two of the last three holes to miss the party by two. Rod Pampling also would bogey late to destroy his chance and James Nitties, the outstanding New South Wales amateur contradicted all predictions when he moved forwards instead of backwards early in his round. So many players had made a run on day four.
Adam Scott’s extraordinary run of birdie, eagle, eagle, birdie to move to nine under through the turn had many believing that this would be his day. He has yet to win an Australian event after winning three European and one USPGA Tour events, but it seemed his time may have come especially when Allenby, playing 90 minutes later, would bogey the first.
His time will come without doubt, perhaps even this week at the Australian PGA at Coolum, but he was a class act in defeat and spoke highly of his conqueror afterwards. “He ( Allenby) is such a great competitor as his playoff record suggests, I think that is nine for nine now. Obviously when he is in with a chance to win, he wins. I don’t think I do too bad either as I tend to go on and win when in front.”
Allenby would also speak very highly of Scott.
“He has the complete package and he could well become Australia’s version of Tiger Woods. He will win many events and he is such a class act. He is a good looking guy who plays brilliantly and handles himself so well on and of course. He and I have become good friends of late and I have a lot of admiration for him.”
For Parry, it was yet another example of his gritty determination and love of Huntingdale. This would have been his fourth win in the event but he comes away with a game that should see him contending in the next two weeks. Moseley will head to Coolum where, along with Lonard, he will defend his title and do so with the confidence that he gave it his best shot here and came up just a little short. His continued use of an on course attitude he developed last year where he works hard to stay patient and it is paying dividends.
Peter O’Malley and Stephen Allan almost snuck into their tie for 8th and it is a fair bet that both will be serious contenders again before long.
The MasterCard Masters proves yet again that Australian events can survive without an array of foreign stars. One look at the leaderboard highlights that Australia’s best current stars put on a show that the huge crowds just loved. It would be hard to imagine the inclusion of higher ranked players would have made much of a difference, with of course, one or two exceptions.
If the events to follow can follow the lead of the Master Card Australian Masters then we are in for one fine summer in Australian tournament golf.