SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Professional golfer Robert Allenby doesn’t know where he was, what he did or what happened to him during a two-and-a-half hour window Jan. 16 in Hawaii when he was robbed, beaten and apparently drugged.
But Allenby, an Aussie who has been around golf a long time, does know two things.
One, he was the victim.
He’d like you to remember that. Due to conflicting witness accounts and a video that reportedly shows him going into a strip club during the period he doesn’t remember, Allenby’s account of the night has been called into question. And that frustrates and infuriates him.
Two, he knows where to point the blame for his subsequent ordeal in the wake of his original ordeal. “I realized that I don’t have any friends in the media,” Allenby said Tuesday morning when he met with reporters to clear the air about his odyssey before the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “Maybe one. That’s it. That’s all I can say on that.”
Allenby joined Tiger Woods in pointing a guilty finger at the media on Tuesday morning. Woods became an international story when he was seen at Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup ski race victory missing a tooth. When differing accounts of how he lost that tooth were reported, some questioned Tiger’s version.
That’s how Tiger’s tooth became a mystery of global proportions. “It’s you guys,” Woods said during his own press session earlier. “It’s just the way the media is.”
When in doubt, blame the media. Look for the New England Patriots to go that route any minute now.
No one knows what really happened to Allenby, including Allenby. He’d like to make that clear.
“There has been a lot of confusion but the No. 1 thing you should all remember is that my story stays exactly the way as the way I told it,” he said. “I told you what I knew and I told you what someone told me. I never lied to anyone.
“From that, the media have decided that they are the most amazing experts at investigations. There is a reason why detectives in Honolulu are some of the best in the world. I’d really appreciate if we just let them do their jobs and maybe we could get to the bottom of it.
“I was a victim and all of a sudden you’re putting the blame on me. I take full responsibility if I did do something wrong. I have no problem owning up to it if I did do something wrong. But as I said, from about 11:06 to about 1:27 a.m., I have no memory. I have nothing. I can’t tell you how frustrating that is because we all want to know the truth.”
It isn’t Allenby’s fault that other witnesses have made statements that conflict. Was he or wasn’t he in a strip club? Allenby doesn’t know. He was there during his blackout period.
He was going to leave a wine bar with a friend just after 11 p.m. His caddie had been with him, and had just left. Allenby went to the restroom, with a friend waiting for him, and never returned. Allenby said he has no recollection of what happened for the next few hours until he awoke when a homeless woman found him by the side of a road.
Was he thrown out of a car by a group of men? He doesn’t remember.
Why would he have been at a strip club? He doesn’t remember.
Was he just really, really drunk? No, he said, he knows that much.
“There’s no way in the world what I drank could do what was done to me, not a chance in the world,” he said.
So he was presumably drugged or concussed by a blow to the head — he said Tuesday that he had suffered a concussion. In response to a question about whether he regretted posting a photo of himself to social media after the attack, he said, “What I did was at a time where I didn’t even know my own phone number. How I could get hold of my son was through Facebook. I posted a photo and now, look, this is where it is. All I did was just try to get my son… to call me.”
He doesn’t know the men he was seen leaving the restaurant with on surveillance tapes. They, too, are a part of his blackout period and obviously are persons of interest in this case.
We may never know what happened to Allenby. He’s lucky to be alive and while this 15 minutes of unwanted fame and misfortune seems to be a big deal right now, and he believes that is the fault of the media and not the conflicting reports, it will all blow over soon enough and he’ll go back to being just another name in a column of golf scores.