Injured Allenby Leads Big 4th Rd in Jeopardy

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FINGAL, Australia -- Australia's Robert Allenby increased his lead to five strokes in the Australian Open on Saturday despite a painful right hand injury that might force him to withdraw from the tournament.
 
Allenby, a four-time winner on the U.S. PGA Tour, said the hand really started to alter his game on the last three holes, when he needed treatment from a physiotherapist as he walked up the 17th fairway. He parred No. 17 and birdied the 18th for his second straight even-par 72 and a 9-under 207 total.
 
'I just picked the club I could make the smoothest swing with,' Allenby said. 'I knew my hand would fall off the club at impact. I had no power, no feeling. I can't guarantee I'll be here tomorrow.'

The 1994 Australian Open winner withdrew from a tournament last weekend and said his hand was so sore that he couldn't hold a club four days.
 
After opening with a course-record 9-under 63 on Thursday, Allenby has struggled in the heat and high wind at Moonah Links.
 
Australia's Paul Sheehan (72) was second at 4 under, and two-time champion Aaron Baddeley (73) and Nick O'Hern (71) were 3 under.
 
Stuart Appleby (72) was eight shots off the pace at 1 under, one stroke ahead of American Bubba Watson (71) and Australian star Adam Scott, who had a triple bogey on the 16th en route to a 77.
 
Appleby said the sun-baked course was not fit to stage the national championship.
 
'We shouldn't be playing an Australian Open here. We should be playing on a top-10 course,' Appleby said. 'To think that courses like Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath are sitting there while we play this place is ridiculous.'
 
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