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Golf roundup

Allenby breaks from pack

Associated Press / March 6, 2009
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Robert Allenby shot a 4-under-par 66 yesterday to take a one-shot lead at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., surviving a day when the wind blew flags straight and the only solace for players was receptive greens.

He had a tap-in birdie on the par-4 ninth - his final hole - to break away from what was an eight-way tie for the lead. Allenby missed a 2 1/2-footer on the previous hole, so he left nothing to chance on the last, hitting a 6-iron to 6 inches.

"I just sort of played within myself, took one or two clubs more when it was into the wind, tried not to force it, and just tried to feel my way around the golf course," said Allenby, who lives just a couple miles from PGA National and finished tied for fourth and tied for fifth in the last two years.

By the time darkness suspended play, six players - Charlie Wi, Jeff Overton, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Will Mackenzie, and Sergio Garcia - all were one shot behind Allenby.

Erik Compton, a South Florida native who underwent heart-transplant surgery for the second time last year, was 1 under playing his 17th hole.

Mathias Gronberg wasn't as fortunate. Gronberg had three triple bogeys in a four-hole span on the back side, and became the first player to shoot 50 over nine holes since Phil Tatuarangi at Greensboro nine years ago. Gronberg saved par at the 18th to shoot a staggering 89.

LPGA - Paula Creamer overcame an illness to shoot a 5-under 67 for a share of the lead after the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

Creamer, who finished third last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand after losing the final-round lead, battled through a likely bout of food poisoning to join Jane Park and Angela Park atop the leaderboard at the Tanah Merah Country Club course.

"For some reason I putt better when I'm sick," Creamer said. "At the beginning, I was very sick, very nauseous. It must have been something I ate."

Ai Miyazato and Seon Hwa Lee finished the round one shot back of the leaders at 4-under 68.

Nationwide - Kurt Barnes shot an 8-under 64 to take the first-round lead in the New Zealand PGA Championship.

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