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August 13, 2009

Robert Allenby


KELLY ELBIN: Robert Allenby, ladies and gentlemen, in with a 3 under par 69 opening round of the 91st PGA Championship. Robert, nice playing. Hit five birdies, double bogey on the back nine. Looked like a good ball-striking day all in all.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Yeah, I hit the ball very well. My only blemish was on 15. I actually hit a pretty good tee shot going down the left side. I plucked it in the face of the fairway trap, and which is kind of unusual. But I guess if you saw my stand putting the putt on the trap you would understand why. I took a 9-iron, got a big smash and got about 25 yards down the fairway and then I really couldn't reach the green. Tried to smash a 3-wood, got it up there sort of in the left rough short of the front bunker and actually thought I hit a good third shot -- fourth shot.
But I hit the down slope and shot across the back of the green. Chipped a little 6-iron up and I missed the putt for bogey. But I bounced back nicely with 16 with a birdie there. Pretty much all day I hit the ball well. I putted well.
You're going to make some mistakes, I guess. And as long as I can keep them to a minimum, you know, yeah. I mean, the whole game. It's all there. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it. I felt comfortable all day. I even felt comfortable as I was making my double bogeys.
So that's going to happen. You're going to have some good holes and you're going to have some bad ones. And I think I can accept taking a double bogey. Yeah, it would have been nice to finish at 4-under or 5-under, but there's a lot of golf to be played. It's only the first day.
KELLY ELBIN: For the record, Robert hit 10 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

Q. Apart from the par on 15, was the putter working as well as last week?
ROBERT ALLENBY: Just as good. There were some putts out there today that I thought I made them and they just didn't turn or they bounced off line or something like that.
The greens, you have to be pretty careful with them because when they are soft like these ones, the feet mark are going to show up and the spike marks. This will be a great week to have nice spikes, that's for sure. But the front nine I pretty had much perfect greens, then in the back nine it was a little tricky on some putts, a few indentations there, but it felt great.

Q. How important was it to come off with a good start coming off of last week to keep the momentum going?
ROBERT ALLENBY: It feels like it's been forever since last Sunday. Yeah, obviously I finished strong last Sunday and I had some good momentum coming into this tournament. So it was just -- really I just spent the last three days trying to just not really -- I mean, I was already ready. So I didn't want to overdo it. I played nine holes each day and didn't practice much.
And I feel like I've -- I felt like I was ready to play today. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it.
Yeah, I still have the same as last week so it feels good. It feels nice.
KELLY ELBIN: Tied second at the British last Sunday.

Q. We've all written a lot about this golf course, the size of it, the difficulty, things of that nature. After a round and today, do you think this has all been overstated? People are out scoring, doing pretty well. What's your impression?
ROBERT ALLENBY: You know what, the only reason why there's 3 and 4-unders and so forth, Tiger might get it to 5, who knows. He may even get it to 6.
It's only because it's a little soft this morning. That's all. And also there's a couple of tees up. 13 -- I think 13's in a great spot. That's where the tee should be anyway. It's one tee up from the back tee.
And it's still smash a 4-iron or a 3-iron. But you know what, the golf course -- this morning it was there to be had. And I believe it's only going to get tougher from here on.

Q. On another question, the golf is going to be recommended for the Olympics. Do you like it? Will you play it? What sort of system of play do you think is the correct one for it?
ROBERT ALLENBY: I thought we were here about the U.S. PGA. But anyway. Has it been accepted?

Q. It was recommended today.
ROBERT ALLENBY: It was recommended today, wasn't it? Yeah, I think it's a good thing. I mean, they've got tennis. They've got Tiddlywinks. (Laughter) BMX bikes. Let's just think about it. Golf is a sport and it's been around for hundreds of years. And it should be in there. If you are going to put all these other sports in there, then why isn't golf in there?
I'd play if I could get on the team, yeah, I'd definitely play, you know, definitely.

Q. Do you think it should be team play, individual play, or do you think match play?
ROBERT ALLENBY: I think probably both. I think it should have stroke play. Definitely stroke play. And 72 holes. And maybe have three players on a team and the two best scores count out of the three for the team over 72 holes, maybe. I don't know. I'm just a golfer. I don't get those choices. (Laughter) That sounds good.

Q. Normally when you see, I guess for want of a better term, journeyman go to 5-under on the first day might not take much notice, but when it's Tiger and you look up at the board, do you say: Oh my God, here we go again, it's going to be a long week?
ROBERT ALLENBY: No, you know what, he's playing well. No doubt about it. You can't say he's not playing well.
You know, he's human. And the golf course is in front of all of us. It's all to be had. And obviously he's the best in the world so we expect him to win, because he's the best. He should. But you know what, it's three more days to go. And a lot can happen. A lot of golf to be played. And there's a lot of things that can happen.
And if he wins, he wins. Fantastic. I think it's great for the sport anyway. But I know I'll be trying to do my best to try and finish as low as I can by Sunday. And we'll just see what happens. He's the best in the world, but there's a lot of good golfers behind him.
KELLY ELBIN: Robert, did the golf course play any different today? You mentioned it was a little soft this morning. Any different from the practice rounds?
ROBERT ALLENBY: I played yesterday afternoon. I played the front nine and it was quite firm. But then this morning it was a little softer. I'm not sure if they put some water on the course. But it was a little softer.
But I did notice my approach shot go today, did take a fair bounce. So some greens will probably firm out a little bit quicker than others, and obviously 18 is quite high so that would probably dry out the quickest. But overall, I mean, the whole golf course is playing really well. It's a slog. And there's a lot of holes out there -- I mean, I think I hit driver 4-iron into the first today. So no one really considers the first holes are a long hole, do they. And that's downhill. So there's a lot of long holes out there, and there's the short holes. You've got to try to make the most of them. So I think it's a great setup.
I just wish there wasn't so much sand in that 15th bunker off the tee shot.
KELLY ELBIN: Robert Allenby, with 3-under par, 69.

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