Sunday November 27, 2005
Freak toilet accident may end Allenby’s bid for Australian Open title
MELBOURNE: Australian Open leader Robert Allenby may have to abandon his bid to win his national golf championship after suffering a bizarre injury during yesterday's third round at the Moonah Links course here.
Allenby defied a howling wind, shooting a par 72 to be nine-under par 207 after 54 holes and five clear at the top of the leaderboard.
But he said he couldn't be sure he would tee up for today's final round after aggravating a chronic hand injury while using an on-course toilet during yesterday's play.
Allenby said the injury occurred with three holes to play as he attempted to lock the toilet door.
I was very lucky even to play the last three holes, he said.
The nerve went in my middle finger and I had no feeling, no power just pain.
Allenby received treatment as he walked between shots and on the subsequent tees, improvising with considerable success over the final holes.
Instead of a four-iron at the par-three 17th, he hit a five wood, his hand falling from the club at impact.
But the shot proved good enough to set up a par which he followed with a birdie at the last.
Allenby said he would continue to receive treatment during the night in a bid to be fit to claim a title he believes is his for the taking.
I can't guarantee that I will be here tomorrow, he told reporters.
But I think my hand would have to drop off for me not to play.
In second place, five shots behind Allenby, is compatriot Paul Sheehan with a further shot to Nick O'Hern, Rod Pampling and Aaron Baddeley on an all-Australian leaderboard. AFP