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Allenby's 66 fires him to top at Honda

ROBERT Allenby shot a 4-under 66 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Honda Classic at Palm Beach gardens, Florida, where the wind blew flags straight and the only solace for players was receptive greens on Thursday.

He had a tap-in 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?-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 finished tied for fourth and tied for fifth in the last two years here.

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.

Defending champion Ernie Els shot 73, as did Camilo Villegas, Davis Love III and Rocco Mediate, among others.

But the big surprise was Erik Compton, the local who underwent a heart-transplant surgery for the second time last year. He made a triple-bogey on his second hole, which would have deflated some. Compton, however, said it was the kickstart he needed.

With his nearly 2-week-old newborn getting pushed along in a stroller, Compton birdied three straight holes after making the turn and got to 1-under when play was stopped in his second US PGA Tour event since the lifesaving procedure.

"I'd rather sleep on being 1 under than hitting a (crap) tee shot, then hitting a chip shot when I can't see the grain and couldn't see what's going on," Compton said.

"I'm only three back. I played really well despite having a triple."


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