Originally created 05/01/00

Allenby gets first PGA Tour victory

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Robert Allenby got his first PGA Tour victory the hard way.

In a four-hole playoff, Allenby went in the water once and behind a grandstand another time before finally making a 10-foot par putt to beat Craig Stadler and his erratic putter in the Houston Open on Sunday.

"I putted first on that last hole and I hoped it would put some pressure on Craig," Allenby said. "It was a shame we can't have two winners. Both of us played good golf all week. I would have been glad to share it."

Stadler, trying to win his first tournament since 1996, missed makeable putts on all four playoff holes, giving Allenby an emotional victory with his family and fellow Australian Stuart Appleby, the 1999 Houston Open champion, looking on.

"Last year was pretty emotional to see Stuart win and this year he came up and it was pretty emotional," Allenby said. "With two great mates like that, we got kind of teary-eyed. My wife and baby got to see it too."

Allenby survived going into the water on the first playoff hole and won it despite hitting into the stands behind the green on the last extra hole.

"I must say I'm very relieved in more ways than one to get my first U.S. Tour victory," Allenby said. "I haven't won anything since 1996. It's been a long time between drinks."

Allenby started the final round with a one-shot lead over Stadler but the two ended regulation tied at 13-under 275.

Stadler had a final-round 71 at the 7,108-yard TPC at The Woodlands. His putter did him in the playoff as he missed opportunities for the win on each of the first three holes.


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