Some thoughts on Robert Allenby

He stuffed up. There’s no doubt about it and there’s probably nobody feeling worse about his 72nd hole collapse than the man himself. And I don’t see the point in bashing him any further (there’s been plenty from the media and Ex players this week already). But I will offer some of my thoughts below.

Sidenote: In case you missed it he took a double bogey (6) on the last of the Mayakoba Golf Classic holding a two-shot lead. He then went on to lose an eight hole playoff to John Huh (a tour rookie).

In hindsight he shouldn’t have hit driver off the tee. In saying that, he is renowned as one of the best ball strikers in the world and his driving is very good. If he hit a good drive he would have certainly won the event. Potentially, he was one good drive from winning.

At the time he hit his last shot he wasn’t sure that his 15 under total was going to be good enough. Chris Stroud was still playing behind him and was sitting at 13 under. So Allenby may have thought he needed a birdie to seal the deal. So while he has been dragged over hot coals for taking driver (and then hitting it into the thick rough) it wasn’t the worse play I’ve seen from a guy leading a tournament. Can anybody remember Jean Van Der Velde?

While his tee shot was poor, his next four shots were not much better.

– he seemed to hit his chip shot fat, leaving an awkward shot from the rough over the trees. (of this I’m not sure as I wasn’t there and the coverage here wasn’t that good)
– he missed the approach (maybe with an 8 iron) to the left.
– hit a fairly ordinary chip shot (with his 3 wood). I think this was the smart play for him as his chipping is certainly his worse shot. It didn’t end up as close to the hole as he would have liked.
– his putt for bogey was very poor. He left it short and to the left. I think by this time he was over thinking and choking quite badly.

Some other points:

While most say he should have taken 3 iron, there is still no guarantee a bad swing would not lead to a double bogey. Imagine the backlash if he’d taken a 3iron but somehow made double?

He played the 18th hole in the playoff (1st time round) very well (just missed birdie) while Huh made a par from the right rough (I believe he was incredibly lucky to score a good lie and then hit the second onto the green). With a little luck, Allenby’s tap in par could have been good enough to win.

To lose on the 8th playoff is just bad luck. He made some terrific putts to keep the match going this far. My point? He got on with the job after the earlier disappointment.

The lesson here?

Golf can be a shit of a sport. Sometimes it’s unfair and there’s no guarantee of the result until the final putt has been sunk.

If there’s ever any doubt with a shot you’ve gotta play I’m a big fan of taking the conservative strategy and swinging aggressively. So yes, I agree that a 3 wood or 3 iron from the tee was the right play. But it’s easy to say that from the lounge room.

My hope is that Allenby will be hurt by this and the flack he has copped and come out fighting to prove that he’s way better than this. He might just figure in a major sometime soon. While it’s little consolation to him, he certainly learned a few valuable lessons on that 72nd hole that will help him next time round.

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6 Comments

  • Gregor

    Reply Reply March 2, 2012

    Cameron,
    I didn’t see this tournament but surely if he had made a double bogey on the 1st day, very little would have been said. While disappointing for him as you say, he then went on to play the next 8 holes very well only being narrowly edged out.
    Perhaps this is a lesson for us all when we play our medal comps. Stuffing up 1 hole is not the end of the world. Don’t let it ruin the following holes as well.
    BTW liked your post about your teeth. A bit off the wall but made me realise that my jaw is clenched shut on almost every shot. It does help you to make a freer swing when you let go a bit. Another piece of very useful insight!

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply March 5, 2012

    Hi Gregor: Thanks for your comments. Hope the golf is going well over there in sunny Scotland.

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