Date: November 13, 2006
Author: David Meddows

Allenby lauds local courses

Robert Allenby has heaped praise on Australian golf courses ahead of this week&aposs MFS Australian Open at Royal Sydney, and believes American players would benefit greatly from heading Down Under. Allenby, who last year became the first player to win the Australian Open, PGA Championship and MasterCard Masters in a row, got a brief taste on Monday of the lush waterside course that will host the Open before a massive thunderstorm halted play. “I saw four holes before they called us off,” he said. “It&aposs nice, very, very nice. It&aposs in great condition, the greens are perfect, the fairways are perfect, bunkers have got a lot of sand in them, but it&aposs all good so hopefully we&aposll have some good weather.” Six Australians won eight events on the prestigious PGA Tour this year and all six players – two-time winners Stuart Appleby and Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Rod Pampling, John Senden and Aaron Baddeley – will be present in Sydney to do battle for the Stonehaven Cup. They will join a host of local talent including Mathew Goggin, Nathan Green, Peter Lonard and Allenby, together with Australian legend Greg Norman. Allenby has often sung the praises of playing in Australia and his belief has only grown stronger over the years. The 35-year-old admitted he is tiring of the &aposboring&apos courses on the PGA Tour and enjoys his year-end trips home because of the tricky and challenging courses that are common in Australia. “In Australia, you have to use your imagination on the golf courses down here, especially around this golf course this week,” he said. “You&aposve got to use your imagination around the greens; you can have some very, very tricky chip shots, putts – whatever it may be – so you have to use your imagination.” “In America it can be very boring – just fire straight at it with a four iron and it will stop within a foot whereas here, you hit a four iron into these greens, it&aposs going to release another 10, 15, 20 feet,” he said. Allenby is disappointed that a number of factors, not least the money on offer in Australia and the 15-hour plane trip, keeps many American golfers from making the trip Down Under. While he understands the reasons behind their refusal to play in Australia, Allenby believes they would benefit greatly from the experience. “I keep telling all the Americans they should come because they&aposve never played golf courses like this,” he said. “I know a lot of them had a good time when they came down for the Match Play at Metropolitan that year. They still talk about it; it&aposd be nice to see a few more of them to come down.”