Robert Allenby returns to Sony Open one year after bizarre incident
By Doug Ferguson
KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) – Robert Allenby is returning to the Sony Open and hopeful of a better outcome – on and off the golf course.
Allenby still doesn't know what happened last year the night he missed the cut, a bizarre tale that left him with a bloodied scrape on his forehead and a black eye. The story gained traction because of a photo he posted to Facebook to let his children know what had happened. He was robbed of his credit cards and cellphone.
Allenby first said he was robbed, kidnapped, beaten and dumped in a park. When the account was disputed by homeless people in the park, Allenby said he was only repeating what he was told by those who found him when he regained consciousness.
"I think I just need to get back there and do my thing in a very positive way," Allenby said in a text message.
A Hawaii man was arrested a month later for using his credit cards to buy gift cards, jewelry and clothing. Owen Harbison was sentenced in August to five years in prison.
Allenby stood by his story, saying the media blamed him when he was the victim. He says he suspect someone slipped a drug in his drink because he had total memory loss during a 2 1/2-hour window from leaving the Amuse Wine Bar and being awakened in the park.
Golf Channel cited unidentified courses in a strip club that Allenby was at the Club Femme Nu and ran up a tab of $3,400. Honolulu Police Det. John McCarthy said the report was not true and the police investigation showed Allenby was never in the strip club.
Allenby made only six cuts on the PGA Tour the rest of the year.
He is using a one-time exemption for career money this year.
Allenby told reporters in Australia last month during his charity work for children's cancer that he has sought psychological help.
"It's been traumatic and it's been very tough, but no one ever really actually came out with the truth. That's been tough to take as well," Allenby said. "I'm very cautious, there's no question about it. Most important thing is you never leave a glass of wine or any drink unattached anywhere. And that's probably the best advice I could give anyone in the world because it's not a pleasant experience. Especially the outcome of what could happen."
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