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Round 4: Robert Allenby holds on to claim Australian Open title
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Robert Allenby moves four shots clear

Australia's Robert Allenby, recovering from an inflamed right hand, has taken a four-stroke lead after shooting an even-par-72 in the second round of the Australian Open golf tournament on Friday.

Allenby, who shot a course record nine-under par 63 in the first round on Thursday, has a two-round total of 135, four shots ahead of world number eight Adam Scott, who shot a one-over 73 on Friday.

Tournament officials had to step in and water the greens after complaints from several players that the dry conditions and strong winds were making them too fast and virtually unplayable.

"Before I teed off I knew it was going to be a tough day and you just have to be patient and accept the bad shots and the misses and hope that you hit a few good ones and make a few good putts," said Allenby.

"(Watering the green) is alright, because you get used to it.

"In the U.S. it happens a lot and obviously in the U.S. Open it happens a lot.

"This is our national title and the golf course should be set up as hard as possible."

Australia's Rod Pampling, who had been the early second round clubhouse leader after he shot his second successive two-under-par 70 to post a four-under 140 was in a share for third with Aaron Baddeley who shot 70, John Senden (71), Nathan Green (70) and Paul Sheehan (70).

United States rookie Spencer Levin, who had shot the course record of 64 on Thursday only for Allenby to break it less than an hour later, had a terrible second round, dropping five shots to finish the second round on 141, six shots off the lead.

Australia's David McKenzie, however, had no problems with the greens, shooting the best round of the day, picking up five shots to move into a tie for eighth on three under after he shot a two-over 74 on Thursday.

"I guess the best thing I could say about today is that I probably didn't miss a putt from within 8-10 feet for the day," said McKenzie.

"I found the greens were a reasonable speed going upwind, when you were going downwind they were a bit frightening."

Champion Peter Lonard, seeking a third successive Australian Open title, shot an even par 72 to be on 146, two over par, and tied for 36th.

November 25, 2005

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