JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Robert Allenby went from hot man on the golf course to hot under the collar when his caddie called him off a club on the par-3 17th Sunday that resulted in a second bogey in three holes and put the brakes on a final-round run in the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
"I really wanted to hit 8,'' Allenby said of the tee shot over water after firing a 68 to finish at one-over-par 281. "I didn't think the wind was going to affect it that much. But when you've got outside interference with a caddie who says you can't hit 7 in the back trap, you know. I hit 7 three-quarters and flew it in the back trap.''
Allenby also bogeyed the par-4 18th for three bogeys over the treacherous Final Four holes on the Highland Course. That came after making five birdies through 13 holes and narrowly missing another at 14 to get to two-under for the championship.
Despite faltering down the stretch, the Aussie picked up enough valuable points to move up in the standings for the International Presidents Cup team set to battle the Americans on his home turf at Royal Melbourne in November. He entered the PGA Championship in 13th place trailing Geoff Ogilvy by .31 points and Ryo Ishikawa by less than 10. Both of them missed the cut.
Although teams are determined after the BMW Championship at Cog Hill G&CC in Lemont, Ill., outside Chicago Sept. 18, they're not finalized until team captains (Greg Norman and Fred Couples) announce their captains' picks a week later at the conclusion of the Tour Championship at East Lake GC in Atlanta.
(Related: Allenby on how to add 10 yards to your game)
Allenby is hoping to ride the crest of his good play here into the FedEx Cup playoffs, which start in a couple of weeks.
"Overall, I played really well this week,'' said Allenby, "some of my best golf of the year. I just didn't get the results that were probably rewarded for the way I played.
"But I'm taking a lot out of it and looking forward to the FedEx finals now. I just want to try and bridge my way up to the Presidents Cup.''
What are the odds he'll have a new caddie by then?
-- Pete McDaniel
(Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)