Pro golfer Allenby back in Hawaii, a year after kidnapping claim - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Pro golfer Allenby back in Hawaii, a year after kidnapping claim

Pro golfer Robert Allenby said he had doubts about whether he should back to the islands for the Sony Open. Pro golfer Robert Allenby said he had doubts about whether he should back to the islands for the Sony Open.
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WAIALAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Australian golfer Robert Allenby grabbed international headlines in January after he claimed he was drugged, robbed and kidnapped after leaving a Honolulu wine bar.

This year, he's back in Hawaii for the Sony Open, which starts Thursday.

"Really coming here is just trying to put last year behind me," Allenby told reporters. "Hopefully I come here and play well, and if I don't play well, I think I still achieved a lot by coming here."

Allenby missed the cut for the Sony Open last year, and then went with friends to Amuse wine bar for a night of drinking.

What happened next has been the cause of considerable debate.

Allenby claimed he was attacked, kidnapped and robbed outside the Amuse Wine Bar at the Honolulu Design Center. He had injuries that appeared to be road rash on his face.

But Honolulu police say there was no evidence that he was actually a victim of anything other than theft. And some witnesses disputed his account.

Allenby says he doesn't remember the details of the evening, but still has nightmares about his experiences in Honolulu.

He also blames the media for bad press he got in the wake of the incident.

"A lot of bad media here last year by the Golf Channel and what that created," he said. "My life itself hasn't changed, but maybe my reputation has changed. It's been tarnished through false reporting."

Allenby has sought counseling to help him work through things. "I feel like I don't need a sports psychologist. I need a psychiatrist," he said.

And he told reporters that part of the healing process for him has been returning to Hawaii, something he wasn't sure he'd do. 

"I had a lot of thoughts going through my head flying over here. I had about nine hours to think about it. I got off the plane and I was like 'Alright, this is great. I'm glad I'm here.'”

A homeless man, Owen Harbison, was accused of charging up to $20,000 on the golfer’s credit cards subsequently pleaded guilty to identify theft and attempted theft, and was sentenced to five years behind bars.

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