Allenby was born on July 12, 1971, in Melbourne, Australia. He was the youngest of four children born to British natives Don and Sylvia Allenby, who immigrated to Australia when they were young. His father was a scratch golfer in Leeds, England. Allenby's father currently lives in Melbourne, Australia along with his brother and two sisters. Allenby's mother passed away from lung and kidney cancer in 2009 which sparked Allenby's desire to raise awareness and money for cancer. During tournaments, Allenby wears pink shirts on Sunday in remembrance of his mother and to show support of women living with cancer.
Allenby grew up in public housing in Chadstone, Victoria, Australia, and was golfing by age seven. When he was about 13, he met Steve Bann, a pro at Melbourne's Box Hill Golf Club. Bann befriended Allenby and coached him for 18 years. Allenby received golf training in a state-run program for promising youth golfers that provided him with instruction and access to a sports psychologist.
He turned professional in 1992 and was soon successful, topping the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit in his first season and again in 1994. He continues to play some events on his home tour and has won 13 events, including one as an amateur. He began to play on the European Tour and it was his principal tour until 1998. He won four tournaments on the European Tour, including three in 1996, when he finished third on the Order of Merit. He was featured in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings. He might even have become the leading money-winner on the European Tour that season had it not been for the car accident in Spain that sent his vehicle crashing into a brick roundabout.
Though he was in ill health, Allenby refused to give up for the season. He flew to Spain for the tour's final tournament, hobbled to the tee, drove the ball and promptly withdrew. By teeing off, Allenby secured the $170,000 last-place prize, thus ensuring a third-place finish in money standings and an invitation to the U.S. Masters the following spring. He donated the money to a children's cancer charity called Challenge Cancer Support Network.
Allenby now plays primarily in the U.S. on the PGA Tour. He earned exempt status for 1999 by finishing 17th at the 1998 Qualifying School. In 2000 he won the Shell Houston Open and the Advil Western Open. In 2001, he won the Nissan Open and the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic. In the years 2000 and 2001, he was 16th on the money list. From 2002-2004, he finished in the top 50.
In 2005 he became the first golfer to win the "triple crown" of the Australian Masters, Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same year.
In December 2009, Allenby became the first Australian to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa, by defeating Henrik Stenson in a playoff. It was his first professional win in four years, but he did not have to wait long for the next as he returned home to claim his fourth Australian PGA Championship title the following week.
Allenby played for the International Team in the Presidents Cup in 1994, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2009 and 2011 (as one of Greg Norman's captain's picks). The 2011 President's Cup was played at his favorite course, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. This is his hometown course that he first played when he was 12 years old.
Allenby is a patron and spokesperson for Challenge Cancer Support Network in Melbourne, Australia, which has raised more than $20 million since 1993 for children with cancer and blood disorders. He is also the founder of the Robert Allenby Golf and Fishing Invitational. He is an advocate for kids with debilitating illnesses and special needs and donates a lot of time and money to help children.
Allenby enjoys deep sea fishing when he is not playing golf and quite frequently can be seen in his boat "C'Mon Aussie" in the waters off the coast of Jupiter, Florida where he resides with his two children, Harry and Lily.
August 21, 2012
June 27, 2012