Al­lenby back in Aus­tralia, aim­ing to keep fo­cus on golf

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SYD­NEY:

Robert Al­lenby has re­turned to Aus­tralia, aim­ing to re­vive his ca­reer af­ter trou­bles on and off the golf course over the last two years. The 45-year-old Al­lenby yesters­day said he’d con­tem­plated quit­ting “a thou­sand times” and gone through pe­ri­ods where he didn’t want to be seen in pub­lic.

He missed the cut in 21 of the 23 tour­na­ments he played last sea­son on the PGA Tour, in­clud­ing the Sony Open - the Hawai­ian venue where he had an in­fa­mous night out in Jan­uary 2015.

Al­lenby was found with se­vere bruises sev­eral hours af­ter vis­it­ing a res­tau­rant with friends af­ter miss­ing the cut at the Sony Open in 2015, and later claimed to have been ab­ducted and beaten. As se­ri­ous ques­tions were raised over his ver­sion of events, Al­lenby ad­mit­ted he couldn’t re­mem­ber a long pe­riod of the night and must have been drugged. A Hawaii man was later sen­tenced to five years in prison for us­ing Al­lenby’s credit cards and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“That was by far the low­est point. Just the at­ten­tion that it caused,” Al­lenby, who is play­ing at

the New South Wales Open in Syd­ney this week, was quoted as say­ing by the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­ated Press yes­ter­day. “I still stick by my story be­cause de­tec­tives and (I) know and even to­day it’s the same story.” Al­lenby said some me­dia cov­er­age of the in­ci­dent “made it that I didn’t want to be out of the golf course, didn’t want to be seen.”“It re­ally be­came a very stress­ful thing for me and that’s when the re­al­ity of quit­ting was re­ally high on the list,” he said. Sup­port from his wife and fam­ily “just pulled me back,” he said, “Other­wise I would have gone a year ago.” There have been other off-course is­sues this year, in­clud­ing a spat with a caddie and al­le­ga­tions - which he de­scribed as a “farce” - of dis­or­derly con­duct out­side a casino in Rock Is­land, Illi­nois, in Au­gust af­ter miss­ing the cut in the John Deere Clas­sic.

Now that he’s back on home soil, though, he is hop­ing his per­for­mances on the course are the fo­cus of at­ten­tion dur­ing the Aus­tralasian tour.

He won Aus­tralian golf’s triple crown the na­tional Open, Masters and Aus­tralian PGA - in 2005, and wants to “prove the crit­ics wrong” by top­ping the tour’s or­der of merit to gain an ex­emp­tion for next year’s Bri­tish Open and more tour­na­ments on the PGA Tour. — AP

Robert Al­lenby

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