MELBOURNE, Australia – Robert Allenby became the first player to win the Australian Open, PGA and Masters in the same season, beating American Bubba Watson with a par on the first hole of a playoff Sunday in the Australian Masters.

The 34-year-old Allenby, 10-0 in playoffs in his pro career, closed with a 4-under 68 to match Watson (67) at 17-under 271 on the Huntingdale course.

“I hung in there all day. I just tried to keep my focus,” said Allenby, also the 2004 winner at Huntingdale. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve never been so nervous in my life.”

The Australian star, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, began the historic run two weeks ago in the Australian Open, overcoming a finger injury for a one-stroke victory at Moonah Links. He added the PGA title last week at Coolum, also winning by a stroke.

Watson missed a 3-foot par putt in the playoff on the par-4 18th hole. The 27-year-old former Georgia player earned the final 2006 PGA Tour card available on the Nationwide Tour with a 21st-place finish on the money list.

Australian left-hander Nick O’Hern, who entered the round three strokes ahead of Allenby and four in front of Watson, shot a 73 to finish two strokes back.

Australia’s John Senden (70) was four strokes back at 13 under.

England’s Paul Casey closed with a 70 to finish fifth at 10 under, and New Zealand’s Bradley Iles (68) was another stroke back along with Australia’s Peter Lonard (69). Australian star Stuart Appleby (73) was eighth at 8 under.

AP-ES-12-11-05 0153EST


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