Date: February 11, 2014

Grant Report – Allenby honoured for charity work

Robert Allenby might be involved in a titanic struggle with his on course form but away from the fairways he is being lauded.

The Victorian, who has four USPGA Tour wins, has battled through a drought in recent years. Last year he missed 18 cuts from 23 starts with just one top 10 and one top 25 finish.

To date this season he has missed five cuts already, including the past three in succession. His best finish has been a tie for 16th at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Allenby is 42 and while he has collected more than $US26 million in total earnings he is finding it tough to rediscover his competitive form.

Away from the golf course though, he continues to fight relentlessly to raise money for children stricken with cancer.

Allenby lost his best childhood friend to cancer at the age of just 13 years old and seven years later when he joined the professional golf ranks, he became involved with the fight against the disease.

He  was introduced to a "Challenge a Cancer Support Network" to help children with cancer and immediately set about helping.

Over the last 23 years, Allenby has raised over $26 million – equal to he prize money he has reeled in – through programs in Australia and Florida.

In the first year, 150 people came together inside a tent for the Robert Allenby Annual Golf Day and Gala Dinner and raised $60,000 for charity. Now 23 years later, the annual event draws a thousand guests.

To recognize Allenby’s charitable efforts, the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) will honor him with the Charlie Bartlett Award presented by Aberdeen Management.

The award is given to a playing professional for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society and will be presented at the GWAA Annual Dinner on April 9 in Augusta, Georgia.

Allenby joins a very elite group of past winners including Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, K.J. Choi, Lorena Ochoa, Ernie Els, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart.

His fellow tour pro Jarrod Lyle is the most public face involved with Allenby’s work.

Lyle was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and vividly recalls the inspiration he received from Allenby coming to see him in the hospital. Seven years later, they played a practice round in the British Open at Hoylake.

Of the award Allenby said: "I’m very humbled, very honored," Allenby said. "But nothing has changed with the cause. We’re still trying to help children with cancer."

Challenge is the official tournament charity partner of the upcoming Oates Vic Open, February 20 – 23 at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links where Jarrod Lyle will play.

By: Robert Grant