Intrigue at Australian Open early on final day
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 Australian Open | Final Round | 27 Nov 2005
As midday approached at the MFS Australian Open at Moonah Links, there was ongoing speculation as to whether the overnight leader would turn up. Robert Allenby was scheduled to receive treatment for the hand injury he aggravated while exiting a latrine on the sixteenth hole yesterday and having said in his post round press conference yesterday that he may not play today, there was much anticipation.
Out on the course in the breezy conditions there were several players providing evidence that scoring on this day might not be quite as difficult as had been the case on Friday and Saturday.
Craig Parry birdied three of the first seven holes before a bogey at the eighth hole saw him turn in two under. He picked up another birdie at the 13th to move to three under for the day.
Kurt Barnes, the talented and strong New South Welshman, was two under for the day through fifteen holes and although it would do little to help his overall cause it was a big improvement on his second and third rounds of 78 and 79.
New Zealander Steve Alker, who last week was the medallist at stage two qualifying for the USPGA Tour at his venue, had recorded three birdies by the tenth and was at two under for the day at that stage.
Defending champion Peter Lonard reverted to his short putter for the day suggesting that it would be either “60 or 80” highlighting that the short putter is less consistent than his broomstick but he feels when he gets on a roll with it he can really go low. He will need to do just that, if there was to be any chance for him today.
Mark Hensby was also one under through twelve holes and perhaps preparing himself for a better showing and less controversy at next week’s PGA Championship.
As news on Robert Allenby was eagerly awaited, those on the course were doing their best to make whatever progress they could before those nearer the lead teed off.
The wind was more from a westerly quarter, providing yet further intrigue on what was shaping as a most interesting final day.