Date: November 29, 2008
Author: Angus Morgan at Huntingdale

Albatross special for Allenby

Albatrosses don&apost come around too often. When Greg Norman famously landed one with a three-wood at the fifth hole at The Australian in 1990, the club commemorated the feat with a bronze plaque. Kingston Heath did the same for Roger Mackay when he &aposdouble-eagled&apos during the 1987 Victorian Open. So it follows that Robert Allenby is expecting something similar for his sensational three-wood second at the 490-metre par five seventh at Huntingdale on Saturday that, regardless of the result in the 2008 Australian Masters, he will forever cherish as one of the great highlights of a fine career. The two-time Masters winner was 223 metres from the pin and knew he had a rare opportunity to land a three wood &apossoft&apos on a course made more forgiving than normal by showers over the previous two days. The ball landed on the front of the green and ran 10 metres direct to the hole, kissing the flagpole before dropping in. As the gallery roared, Allenby raised his arms in the air, blew a kiss and pumped his fists. “I guess it was about as pure as it looked,” said Allenby. “The wind was just off the right and I knew I didn&apost have to smash it, I just knew I needed to hit it solid.” “I was just going straight at it and it did exactly that, it went straight at it and landed perfect.” “I saw it land and then I saw it track towards the flag and it just sort of disappeared and then I heard the roar and obviously it had gone in.” “The last two, three feet, I didn&apost see that part, but heard the reaction of the crowd which was pretty nice.” That single shot enabled Allenby to leapfrog a dozen rivals to seize a two-stroke lead at Huntingdale, and he&aposs hoping it proves as significant as the three-wood which earned him a playoff victory in the Nissan Open in Los Angeles in 2001. Allenby dedicated the feat to his mother, who&aposs battling serious illness.