Ryan Palmer (left) and Robert Allenby battled
down the stretch and settled matters on the 72nd hole.
Palmer’s Near-Eagle Chip
Nips Allenby In Sony Open
HONOLULU | Ryan Palmer admitted
the last pitch shot was lucky, and if
you had cornered Robert Allenby in a
private moment after the sudden conclusion of the final round of the Sony
Open in Hawaii, he probably would
Palmer’s pitch hit the 18th-hole
flagstick squarely and finished inches
from the cup for a closing birdie and a
4-under-par 66 in the final round that
won him the Sony by one shot over Allenby. Palmer finished the tournament
at 15-under-par 265. It was his third
victory on the PGA Tour.
Palmer and Allenby were tied for
the lead for most of the day and both
came to the par- 5 18th hole at Waialae
Country Club knotted at 14-under par.
Both hit 5-iron second shots from the
right rough. Palmer finished about 15
yards short of the green and Allenby’s
second shot ran through the back.
Allenby lofted his pitch down to
about eight feet underneath the hole,
setting the stage for Palmer’s pitch.
“It was going to go by about seven
or eight feet, so I guess it was lucky,”
said Palmer, 33, whose last victory was
the 2008 Ginn sur Mer Classic. “I came
out with a lot of hopes for the year.
“I did leave a couple out there,”
Stricker said. “All of a sudden I found
myself doubting some of the reads
I had made and wasn’t making con-
fident strokes. I missed a couple I
Retief Goosen gave the field a scare
by posting an 8-under 62 while the
leaders were approaching the turn. His
12-under total should have been one
better as Goosen failed to make birdie
at the reachable par- 5 18th after a per-
fect drive in the fairway.
Palmer and Allenby entered the
final round tied for the 54-hole lead
at 11-under 199. Palmer’s 2-under 68
was one worse than Allenby’s moving
day round. The pair put some space
between them and the rest of the
field as Stricker and Davis Love III
were three shots back, sharing third at
8-under 202. Love shot 68 on Saturday
and Stricker stayed in the hunt with a
From staff reports