Allenby breezes in Pennsylvania

Monday, September 24, 2001

LIGONIER, Pa. -- Undefeated in playoffs, Robert Allenby finally took the easy route Sunday by never letting anyone close to his lead and closing with a 4-under 68 to win the Pennsylvania Classic.

It was his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour, but the first that didn't require a playoff. The 30-year-old Aussie is 7-0 in playoffs worldwide, but that was never an issue on a still, sunny afternoon at Laurel Valley Golf Club.

Allenby finished at 19-under 269 for a three-stroke victory over Larry Mize and hometown favorite Rocco Mediate.

"I don't think I could have hit it any better," Allenby said. "I felt so comfortable with my swing. This is the first time I've felt this good."

Allenby became the seventh two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year, and joined Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as the only players with at least two victories in each of the past two years. The $594,000 first-place check pushed him over $2 million for the year.

While Allenby had it locked up all along, the final round proved to be a boost for Mize.

The former Masters champion was 199th on the money list and in jeopardy of having to go back to qualifying school for the first time in 20 years.

Mize, who had not finished higher than 35th all year, made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 65. He earned $290,000 and is in good position to keep his card. He already has slipped 10 spots in career earnings to No. 52, and would be unable to use a one-time exemption for top 50 in career money.

Kevin Sutherland had a 68 and finished fourth at 273, while Nick Price (68) was another stroke back.

The PGA Tour resumed after a week off because of the terrorist attacks, putting American flags on all 18 pins and inside the tee markers.

Allenby stuck a lapel pin in his visor that combined flags from the United States and his native Australia. He got it two days before the attacks while attending a party held by the Australian ambassador and attended by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

He was in control from the second round on, when he hit all 18 greens in regulation for a 65.

Allenby had to return Sunday morning to complete his third round and immediately hit his approach into 6 feet for birdie, typical of his week.

Asahi Ryokuken International

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Tina Fischer shot a 2-under-par 70 to win the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship.

Fischer, who began the final round two strokes behind second-round leader Kris Tschetter, finished at 10-under 206, one shot ahead of Emilee Klein and Tracy Hanson. Fischer won $180,000.

SAS CHAMPIONSHIP

CARY, N.C. -- Bruce Lietzke carded a final-round 6-under-par 66 to take the SAS Championship by three shots over Gary McCord and Allen Doyle.

Lietzke, who finished at 16-under 201, earned $240,000.

-- From wire reports

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