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Allenby to defend Australian PGA Championship

Australia’s highest ranked golfer Robert Allenby is heading back to the venue where he claimed one of the most emotional victories of his career, confirming today he will defend his Australian PGA Championship title at Coolum in December.

Allenby, the defending champion and world number 17, will be competing in the 2010 Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola hoping to claim his fifth Joe Kirkwood Cup.

“I really enjoy getting back to the Hyatt Regency Coolum and this year has the added bonus of defending my Australian PGA title,” said Allenby.

“Despite my current injury, my form so far this year has been really good and I hope that I can have a good run of events leading into this year’s PGA. I can always find room at home for my fifth Joe Kirkwood Cup!”

Coming off a win in South Africa the week before and securing entry into the 2009 Championship at the 11th hour with a sponsor’s invite from Coca-Cola, Allenby blitzed last year’s star studded field playing flawless golf to post a bogey-free five-under 66 on the Sunday and win Australia’s oldest professional championship by four shots.

Having won the event three times previously in his career, the attainment of his fourth Australian PGA Championship title was an emotional win for Allenby as he played the final day in a symbolic pink shirt, dedicating the win to his late mother Sylvia who lost her battle with cancer earlier in the year.

“Obviously last year’s win was an emotional one for me and one that will hold significance for a long time to come,” he said.

Prior to last year’s win Allenby had won the Australian PGA Championship in 2000 and 2001 at Royal Queensland Golf Club, and in 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Coolum.

Along with Norman Von Nida, Allenby is the equal second most prolific winner of the historic tournament, chasing only Kel Nagle who won the Australian PGA Championship six times throughout his career.

Queensland Premier Ms Anna Bligh said Allenby's return to defend his title coincided with a decade of support from Queensland Events for the championship.

"My government through Queensland Events recently secured the Championship to the Sunshine Coast for a further three years, with the option to continue our support through until 2014," Ms Bligh said.

"It's a real thrill to have seen the growth and popularity of this award-winning event go from strength to strength each year since we began our support in 2000."

"I look forward to seeing Mr Allenby in fine form amongst a great playing field in December."

The 2010 Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola will be played at the Hyatt Regency Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast from December 9-12, 2010.

The event will be the final event on both the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia Order of Merit, with players competing for a total prize pool of AUD$1,500,000.

The week's event will be showcased on OneAsia's television platform with live coverage for four hours a day across all four tournament days, and broadcast to over 260 million homes in more than 40 countries.

Full coverage of the event will be available domestically on Network Ten, as well as internationally on ESPN Star Sports, Jupiter Golf Network, SBS Golf Channel, Fox International, Sky Sports NZ, ESPN3 & America One in the USA, ViaSat & Bloomberg Television among others in Europe.