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February 17, 2011

Robert Allenby


COLIN MURRAY: Robert, thanks for joining us, bogey-free 4-under-par 67, great start. If you could just talk a little bit about the round this morning and we'll go from there.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Not really much to say, just played pretty solid all day, just hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and just made the odd putt or two.

Q. You've had some good finishes here since your victory in 2001, I think three top 10s since then. Anything about the golf course in particular that's led to that good play?
ROBERT ALLENBY: You know, the golf course is obviously in great condition. The rough is not where it normally is, but still, you know, with the grooves now, probably the shorter the rough, the better it is for the grooves because you get more fliers, which makes it tricky. At least if you've got three or four inches of rough, you know you're just going to smash it and it's going to come out soft. But with the grooves today and low rough, sometimes you get a few fliers.
But this golf course, you know, suits me. I've always played pretty well here, and it sets up really good for me.

Q. The long putt on 5 sort of got you going from off the fringe?
ROBERT ALLENBY: Yeah, I made a long one on 5 from just off the front there, which was nice. But yeah, I mean, I played solid. Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of opportunities for birdies. I probably heft four or five out there within ten feet. But you know, you've got to make them and you're going to miss them. These greens are very tricky, they're not easy to read, very subtle breaks out there. But I haven't been playing well coming into this tournament, so I was pretty happy to shoot 4-under.

Q. Would you take us through the other three birdies?
ROBERT ALLENBY: The other three? So 7, just hit a 3-wood off the tee there and then hit an 8-iron to, I don't know, probably seven or eight feet.
And then next birdie was -- where was that, 13? I hit a driver, 5-iron to like six feet there.
And then 16, I hit a 7-iron to about 12 feet.

Q. You have to be happy with a bogey-free round out here any time. But No. 1 is usually a birdie opportunity. Was it just your second shot there?
ROBERT ALLENBY: Yeah, I mean, I didn't hit the great tee shot. It was just in the first cut down the right side, which was fine. I had a perfect lie. But I pulled my second shot, was trying to cut it and I pretty much just hit it straight into the bunker short there. Not a bad bunker shot but quite a difficult one to get to that front right flag. Hit a good putt, but it just didn't turn.
You know, yeah, there's some holes out there that you feel like -- 1 should be a birdie opportunity, should be a guaranteed nearly, and then I had a close -- I had probably a six-, seven-footer on 10 for birdie, as well. But that's one of those holes -- 10 is one of those holes where you can either make a birdie or a bogey very, very quickly. I think it's probably one of the best holes in golf, that one.

Q. What's your strategic approach to 10?
ROBERT ALLENBY: I always hit driver. I never lay up. I feel that any shot from around the greens probably just as hard or just as easy as it is from 80 yards back.
When you're coming from 60, 80 yards back from the fairway, you're coming across the green, and then you're actually -- the green slopes from right to left, so it goes off towards the back. It's just not an easy shot. You know, I figure if I'm going to mess up a second shot, I'm going to mess it up right next to the green.
I hit it today, it wasn't a bad shot, but it leaked out to the right, and I was short right of the green and just hit a perfect flop shot to like six feet past, but just misread the putt.
I think any time you're on that green for two, you're not going to have a long putt. But I just feel that that's the way I've always played it, and it's done me well in the past. I'm definitely more under than not. So yeah, I mean, that's just the way I play, try and play as aggressive as I can.

Q. You mentioned the slow start coming in. Was there one particular part of your game that needed the most work? I noticed your driving and putting stats. Was it one of those things?
ROBERT ALLENBY: Yeah, I haven't been putting very well, but more I just haven't been driving the ball very well. I did have some new TaylorMade drivers in there, and I changed just back to the old ones just to get some confidence going. I'll change eventually back to the white ones, but at the moment I just need to get some confidence with my swing and get the year started because I haven't really started, really. Not for me anyway.
But you know, my confidence grew today, and I drove the ball really well. Things are looking good.
COLIN MURRAY: Robert, thanks for your time. Play well.

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