Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy nearly duked it out Sunday night after the the two Aussie golfers exchanged angry words during a party following Greg Chalmer’s victory at the Australian PGA Championship.
The tussle, which had apparently been brewing since Allenby artlessly blamed his playing partners for his winless turn at last week’s Presidents Cup, involved verbal sniping, broken glass, and hurt feelings, but no actual blows, according to multiple reports of the incident.
The two International teammates pitched angry words at each other at the Hyatt Coolum, with The Australian reporting that Allenby suggested the two old friends step outside to settle matters. Ogilvy declined the challenge, somehow a glass shattered at the table where the two engaged in their spat, and several attending the party reportedly jeered when Allenby stalked off.
Allenby, a Greg Norman captain’s pick was the only player for either the U.S. or International team to put up a goose egg in the Presidents Cup. In fact, the only other player not to win a point in the biennial matches was American John Huston in 1998. After the matches, Allenby fingered blamed playing partners Ogilvy, Retief Goosen, and Y.E. Yang for “hitting you in the s***,” according to reports.
Ogilvy, particularly, was on the receiving end of the criticism, after he “hit me in the tree three times off the tee and I had to chip out three times” during Saturday’s foursomes (alternate-shot format), Allenby said.
Judging by his own words, Allenby sounds like a guy who could use some time away from the course.
“Everyone’s making me look like I’m playing like s*** and then it starts wearing on your mind a little bit, maybe you are,” he said following the competition, according to reports. “It’s quite draining…there was a lot of pressure on me to hit the shots and also make the putts and it was windy and it was tough conditions.”
He added that he lost some confidence during Sunday’s “wipeout” against David Toms, who “hit every fairway, every green, and made six or seven putts.” Just to be clear, Allenby repeated that it was not all his fault.
“People look and say how disappointing can you be, because you didn’t get a point, but when you’re relying on someone else as well, it’s sometimes not all just you,” Allenby said.
Ogilvy was mum about Allenby’s post-Presidents Cup volleys until the latter played his way into contention at the PGA event on Saturday. Ogilvy’s tweet that “Warms the heart to see Robert playing so well this week” apparently rankled the already agitated Allenby, who reportedly told Ogilvy he did not appreciate the sarcastic tone of his Twitter blast.
Ogilvy, who claimed his tweet was sincere, purportedly replied that Allenby should man up for his own playing deficiencies — not the first time someone has suggested that the 40-year-old from Melbourne grow up and take responsibility for his game.
“I think he acts like a five-year-old when he plays golf,” former U.S. PGA Tour golfer Paul Gow said in a weekly podcast. “He has to understand he plays golf for a living. He was in a team environment and to throw out those comments was really immature.
“It’s probably time for Robert to grow up, let his clubs do the talking because he’s a really, really good player,” Gow said. “With this attitude, he will probably never win a major.”
Allenby, who finished second in a playoff to Chalmers Sunday, is scheduled to meet Ogilvy again at the Australian Masters next month.