Allenby takes lead at Australian PGA


COOLUM, Australia – Robert Allenby sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to complete a 5-under-par 66 on Saturday and take a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the Australian PGA.

The Australian, who won last week’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, had a 54-hole total of 9-under 204 on the par-71 Hyatt Regency resort course.

Australians Scott Strange (68) and Greg Chalmers (67) were a stroke back.

Michael Sim, who had six birdies on the back nine for a 65, the best round of the day, was tied for fourth with last week’s Australian Open winner Adam Scott (68) and defending champion Geoff Ogilvy (70), two strokes off the lead.

“I played pretty solid all day,” said Allenby. “It could have been better, but it should be quite a finish tomorrow with that leaderboard.”

Ogilvy, a former U.S. Open winner, agreed.

“There are five or six guys who could go five or six under tomorrow, and someone probably will,” said Ogilvy. “I’ve never successfully defended a tournament, so it would be nice to do it Sunday.”

Most of the buzz on and off the course came from news that Tiger Woods would take an indefinite break from the game because of his ongoing martial problems and admission of infidelity.

John Daly, who shot 72 Saturday and was nine strokes off the lead, said he hopes the tour gets him back soon.

“He is trying to save his marriage,” said Daly, who has had his share of marital problems and issues off the course. “My advice to him last week was that he should have come out a lot earlier … told the truth, got it all out on the table.”

Paul Gow of Australia shot a third-round 73, not bad for a guy who didn’t think he had made the cut. He flew back to Sydney – a 90-minute trip – from Coolum on Saturday afternoon after finishing with at 4 over and seeing the projected cut was 1 over.

But the cut remarkably blew out to 4 over, so Gow had to catch a later flight from Sydney for the 600-mile trip north.

“What an idiot,” said Gow. “We even got back in the same (hotel) room. Got back here just before 10 p.m., so it wasn’t bad as I was actually in bed and asleep in time.”