Sydney - Robert Allenby has returned to Australia, aiming to
revive his career after troubles on and off the golf course over the last two
The 45-year-old Allenby on Wednesday said he'd contemplated
quitting "a thousand times" and gone through periods where he didn't
want to be seen in public.
He missed the cut in 21 of the 23 tournaments he played last
season on the PGA Tour, including the Sony Open - the Hawaiian venue where he
had an infamous night out in January 2015.
Allenby was found with severe bruises several hours after
visiting a restaurant with friends after missing the cut at the Sony Open in
2015, and later claimed to have been abducted and beaten. As serious questions
were raised over his version of events, Allenby admitted he couldn't remember a
long period of the night and must have been drugged. A Hawaii man was later sentenced
to five years in prison for using Allenby's credit cards and identification.
"That was by far the lowest point. Just the attention
that it caused," Allenby, who is playing at the New South Wales Open in
Sydney this week, was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press on
Wednesday. "I still stick by my story because detectives and (I) know and
even today it's the same story."
Allenby said some media coverage of the incident "made
it that I didn't want to be out of the golf course, didn't want to be
"It really became a very stressful thing for me and
that's when the reality of quitting was really high on the list," he said.
Support from his wife and family "just pulled me
back," he said, "Otherwise I would have gone a year ago."
There have been other off-course issues this year, including
a spat with a caddie and allegations - which he described as a
"farce" - of disorderly conduct outside a casino in Rock Island,
Illinois, in August after missing the cut in the John Deere Classic.
Now that he's back on home soil, though, he is hoping his
performances on the course are the focus of attention during the Australasian
He won Australian golf's triple crown - the national Open,
Masters and Australian PGA - in 2005, and wants to "prove the critics
wrong" by topping the tour's order of merit to gain an exemption for next
year's British Open and more tournaments on the PGA Tour.