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Robert Allenby out to prove critics wrong

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Darren Walton

Robert Allenby has returned to Australia ready to revive his tour golf career and silence critics after enduring a year from hell - on course and off.

Allenby on Wednesday revealed he'd contemplated quitting "a thousand times" while dealing with mental torment of "not wanting to be seen in public" which precipitated his steep career slide over the past two years.

But the 45-year-old says he's finally emerged from the darkest period of his life ready to reclaim full playing rights on the US PGA Tour.

Allenby, a 20-year US tour veteran who has earned a tick under $40 million in America, banked just $33,070 in a dismal 2016 season in which he survived just two cuts in 23 events.

The alarming decline has left him with only conditional US tour status - and likely a maximum of eight tour events - for 2017.

Allenby admits his infamous Hawaii episode in January last year, when he suspected he was drugged at a bar and reported being beaten and robbed when blacked out, precipitated his fall due to the image battering he endured.

A local man was later jailed for using Allenby's missing credit cards.

"That was by far the lowest point. Just the attention that it caused," said Allenby on the eve of teeing up in the NSW Open at Stonecutters Ridge in Sydney..

"I still stick by my story because detectives and myself know and even today it's the same story.

"People don't even know that the guy's in jail for what happened to me in Hawaii."

Allenby said a story on the Golf Channel about the Hawaii episode - which he claimed was full or errors - sent him spiralling towards depression.

"Not to apologise when they were wrong made it pretty tough," he said.

"Made it that I didn't want to be out of the golf course, didn't want to be seen - didn't want to be seen in public.

"It really became a very stressful thing for me and that's when the reality of quitting was really high on the list.

"It's only through my wife Kym and my kids and my family that it just pulled me back.

"Otherwise I would have gone a year ago. No question.

"I would have found my own little hole and just stayed in it for the rest of my life."

Allenby was also shattered at having "people I thought were close friends" telling him he should no longer be involved in his own charity - which has earned almost $30 million for children with cancer.

"I started that when I was 20 and now I'm 45," he said.

"My whole reason why I went into it was because my buddy died when he was 13. We were both the same age.

"At the end of the day, I've done a lot more good than bad.

"I haven't killed anyone. I haven't taken drugs - apart from being drugged - and I really haven't done a lot wrong.

"We're all humans and humans make mistakes. Whether I made a mistake that was caused by me, I will always own up to it so you've got to live with it too.

"Hopefully others will live with it too."

Allenby, who was involved in a public spat with an Australian caddie after sacking him mid-round last year, described an incident where he was removed from a US casino this year while reportedly intoxicated as "just a farce".

"That was bullshit. Got dropped straight away," he said.

The only player in history to win Australian golf's Triple crown - the Open, Masters and PGA in the same season - says he's now at peace with himself and the world.

While conceding he'd love to "prove the critics wrong", his chief motivation this summer is to win the Australasian tour's Order of Merit to gain exemption into next year's British Open and, most importantly, more tournaments in the US.

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