Injured Allenby Leads Big 4th Rd in Jeopardy


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.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.