COOLUM, Australia (AP) — Robert Allenby won his fourth Australian PGA title for his second victory in two weeks, closing with a 5-under 66 on Sunday to beat fellow Australians John Senden and Scott Strange by four strokes.
Allenby, the Nedbank Challenge winner last week in South Africa, won the Australian PGA for the first time since 2005, when he swept all three tournaments in the so-called Australian Triple Crown – the PGA, Open and Masters.
The 38-year-old Allenby, who only entered the tournament on a sponsor invite three weeks ago after Vijay Singh withdrew because of a knee injury, finished with a 14-under 270 total on the Hyatt Regency resort course.
Senden closed with a 67, and Strange shot a 69.
“There were a lot of great players behind me, and I never knew what they were going to do,” Allenby said as he walked up the 18th fairway with the victory secured.
“When you start with the lead, all you have to do is to hold it and don’t do anything stupid. I’ve had my emotions intact all day.
“I did what I had to do, from the first hole to the last hole. I felt totally in control on every shot. It’s a nice feeling to win in that fashion.”
Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, who started the day two strokes off the lead, shot a 71 to tie for seventh at 7 under. Rod Pampling had the best round of the day – a 65 – including five straight birdies on the back nine – to also finish at 7 under in a group that included Stuart Appleby (68).
Adam Scott, the Australian Open winner last week who was in contention early Sunday, hit two balls in the water on 18 and took a triple-bogey 7 for a 73 and a tie for 12th – nine strokes behind Allenby.
John Daly shot a 72 to finish at 1 over. Daly also made the cut at last week’s Australian Open, a big improvement on his performance Down Under last year when he failed to qualify for the weekend in all three Australian tournaments.
Allenby, who started the day with a one-shot lead, played consistently well all day. When he did miss a fairway – on the par-5 12th – his shot from the right rough bounded on to the green, where he two-putted for a birdie and a two-shot cushion.