SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Making his first start since his alleged assault, Robert Allenby wasn’t sure what to expect from the unpredictable crowds circling the 16th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
It turns out he didn’t need to worry. Allenby didn’t receive any barbs from the gallery, save for some boos when he missed the green and made bogey.
“I was a little bit, you know, a little bit nervous going into 16,” Allenby said. “I was actually really surprised. They were fantastic, you know. There was nothing mean at all. … I think some of the comments were actually pretty funny.”
Allenby was robbed and sustained facial injuries on Jan. 16 after a night out in Honolulu. He alleged that he was kidnapped, beaten and dropped off in a park, though conflicting eyewitness accounts raised doubts about the details of the incident. Hawaiian police have an ongoing investigation into second-degree robbery and the fraudulent use of a credit card.
After a shaky start, Allenby steadied himself to card a 1-under 70 in the opening round at TPC Scottsdale. Considering the scrutiny he has faced in the weeks since his incident, he was pleased with the effort.
“My caddie, Mick (Middlemo), he’s an awesome guy. He kept me pretty cool and kept me relaxed the whole way,” he said. “I was super happy to finish under par. I really was.”