Allenby claims PGA crown

Robert Allenby captured the Australian PGA Championship for a fourth time as he cruised to his second win in as many weeks by four shots from John Senden and Scott Strange.

Having already claimed the Kirkwood Cup in 2000, 2001 and 2005, Allenby carded a second-straight five-under 66 to finish at 14 under at Coolum today.

A week after ending a four-year title drought at the lucrative Nedbank Challenge in South Africa in a play-off, Allenby’s late decision to add this week’s event to his schedule paid handsome dividends as he grabbed five birdies and never surrendered the lead on the final day.

So impressive was Allenby, particularly with his putting which has not always been the strongest part of his game, that he played the final 23 holes of the tournament without dropping a shot. He collected seven birdies in that stretch and made only one bogey in his final 33 holes that featured 11 birdies.

Six of his rivals spent time within a stroke of the lead, his playing partner Strange doing so for five holes after he made successive birdies at the fifth and sixth holes, but Allenby’s fine form with his claw grip on the putter allowed him to slam the door firmly shut.

Senden and Strange had to settle for a share of second at 10 under, the former closing with a 67 while Strange shot 69 and another Australian, Marc Leishman, closed with a 68 for outright fourth at nine under.

One shot further back were 2006 PGA winner Nick O’Hern (67) and rising star Michael Sim (70) in equal fifth while Rod Pampling (65), defending champion Geoff Ogilvy (71), Stuart Appleby (68) and New Zealander Josh Geary (68) rounded out the top 10 on seven under.

Tournament drawcard John Daly, who spoke candidly on Saturday of his desire to help world number one Tiger Woods through the crisis in his private life, finished the event at one over par overall after signing for a second-straight 72.

The dual major winner had dropped three shots overall through 12 holes after a triple-bogey eight at the 12th hole but recovered to even par with three late birdies before a bogey at his 72nd hole.

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