Robert Allenby reportedly considered quitting golf “a thousand times” as his career spiraled in the wake of an infamous off-course incident.
Allenby claimed he was mugged and beaten after missing the cut at the Sony Open in January 2015, and a Hawaii man was subsequently convicted and jailed for using Allenby’s credit card. The Aussie has not recorded a top-50 finish on the PGA Tour since then, and he lost his card after missing the cut in 21 of 23 starts last season.
Left with only past champion status, the 45-year-old has returned to Australia in hopes of rekindling his slumping form but told the AAP that the Hawaii incident remains a turning point.
“That was by far the lowest point. Just the attention that it caused,” Allenby said. “I still stick by my story because detectives and myself know … People don’t even know that the guy’s in jail for what happened to me in Hawaii.”
Allenby won four times on Tour from 2000-01, but he made only $25,271 last season and has slipped to No. 1310 in the latest world rankings. Controversy has also followed him since he left Hawaii, as Allenby fired his caddie mid-round last year and was arrested at a casino after missing the cut at the John Deere Classic in July. Allenby described the casino arrest as “just a farce” to the AAP.
According to the report, Allenby now hopes to win the Order of Merit on the Australasian Tour this year, an accomplishment that would bring with it an exemption into The Open.