Golf: Allenby's nerve holds in play-off: Young Australian secures first European Tour win

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The Independent Online
ROBERT ALLENBY gained his first victory on the European Tour with a sudden-death triumph over Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez at the Honda Open in Hamburg yesterday.

The two men had tied on 276, 12 under par, and both had chances of winning the play-off before Jimenez missed a five-foot putt at the third extra hole - all played at the 450-yard 18th - for the 22- year-old Australian to win the title with a four.

Allenby, whose parents emigrated from Leeds some 30 years ago, said later: 'To win on the European Tour is something I have been dreaming about for some time. I've won three times in Australia but this is different. I've been playing well for a while now and it was just a matter of one week when the putts went in.'

He began the final round one shot behind Jimenez and Russell Claydon and shot a three-under- par 69, with four birdies and only one bogey, at the 16th, while Jimenez, two birdies and 16 pars, finished in 70.

Claydon, from Cambridge, dropped back with a disappointing 75 and another Australian, Rodger Davis, who had led for the first two days, took third place, two shots behind on 278, after a final-round 68. David Gilford was fourth, on 279, after a closing round of 71.

Of the four players going to the US Open this week, Bernhard Langer, who finished joint fifth on 280, and Barry Lane (281) both shot superb 66s, while Colin Montgomerie, with 71 for a 283 total, and Ian Woosnam, 73 for 286, were further down the field.

Woosnam's back is still sore but he flew to America last night with Langer and Montgomerie in a private jet, while Lane leaves today.

Montgomerie had a disappointing week after playing well during the first two rounds but is still very positive. 'I'm really looking forward to the US Open, and I'm playing very well,' he said. 'I'm looking to do well.'

Woosnam is not so optimistic, admitting: 'My back is getting looser but I'm not driving well, so I'm going back to a wooden-headed driver. I need a change of fortune so why not a change of club.'

HONDA OPEN (Hamburg) Leading final scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 276 R Allenby (Aus) 72 67 68 69; M A Jimenez (Sp) 70 71 65 70. (Allenby bt Jimenez at 3rd extra hole of play-off). 278 R Davis (Aus) 66 68 76 68. 279 D Gilford 70 70 68 71. 280 B Langer (Ger) 70 72 72 66; G Hjertstedt (Swe) 69 71 73 67; P Lawrie 68 71 72 69; A Coltart 69 69 69 73. 281 B Lane 73 72 70 66; D Hospital (Sp) 69 72 73 67; S Grappasonni (It) 68 74 70 69; S Tinning (Den) 75 67 68 71; A Hare 73 70 68 70; S Field 71 69 68 73; R Claydon 73 70 63 75. 282 A Gillner (Swe) 74 69 74 65; M Harwood (Aus) 73 71 69 69; I Palmer (SA) 71 71 70 70; C Mason 71 69 72 70. 283 C Montgomerie 69 69 74 71; M Tunnicliff 74 69 71 69; R Lee 72 71 71 69; P Fulke (Swe) 70 71 71 71; M Gronberg (Swe) 73 70 69 71. 284 J Quiros (Sp) 72 72 71 69; P Moloney (Aus) 71 72 71 70; P Broadhurst 69 69 72 74. 285 M Mouland 73 71 72 69; J Robinson 73 71 71 70; A Binaghi (It) 74 70 70 71; J Lomas 73 66 73 73. 286 G Ralph 70 71 75 70; T Johnstone (Zim) 70 73 73 70; M Farry (Fr) 72 69 74 71; J Robson 69 74 71 72; I Woosnam 73 71 69 73; M Davis 71 71 70 74. 287 C Cassells 74 71 75 67; I Garrido (Sp) 75 70 71 71; J Rivero (Sp) 73 71 71 72; S Little 72 73 70 72; R Berhorst (Ger) 70 72 72 73; S Luna (Sp) 71 72 71 73; E O'Connell 71 71 71 74; R Alvarez (Arg) 73 70 70 74.

European Order of Merit,

Sporting Digest, page 31

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