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Allenby takes narrow lead in Honda Classic

  • Story Highlights
  • Australian Robert Allenby leads the way after the first round of Honda Classic
  • Allenby birdies final hole at PGA National to edge a six-strong chasing group
  • Tiger Woods and in-form Australian Geoff Ogilvy sitting out Florida tournament
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(CNN) -- Robert Allenby continued the fine form of Australian players on the PGA Tour this season by taking a one-shot lead after the first round of the Honda Classic in Florida.

Allenby is seeking his first win in America since 2001 but played consistently well last season.

Allenby is seeking his first win in America since 2001 but played consistently well last season.

Allenby birdied the final hole at the PGA National Course in Palm Beach for a four-under 66 in testing conditions.

It gave him a slender advantage over a group of six players, including world number two Sergio Garcia and American Ryder Cup star Stewart Cink.

Allenby's compatriot Geoff Ogilvy won the preceding WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship where Tiger Woods, who is not playing this week, made his tournament return.

Ogilvy, who started the season with a victory at the Mercedes Championship, is also sitting it out ahead of his defense of the WGC CA Championship at Doral next week, but Allenby took up the Aussie mantle with a fine showing.

"I was very happy to hit a six iron at the last to six inches, and just tap it in and walk away," Allenby told the Press Association.

"I think four-under is a fantastic start. It puts me in great stead for the next three days," added Allenby, who has not won on the PGA Tour since 2001.

Garcia, closing on Woods at the top of the world rankings, found form after his first round exit last week in Arizona. "I still felt like I played great on the back nine, and I shot one-over," Garcia said.

"That tells you everything about this course, and the last four or five holes are quite tough. I was happy to finish three-under, and it's a good start."

Also on three-under are Charlie Wi, Jeff Overton, Angel Cabrera of Argentina and Will MacKenzie.

Defending champion Ernie Els of South Africa, who reached the quarterfinals last week, carded a three-over 73 while Northern Ireland teenager Rory McIlroy continued his impressive introduction to the PGA Tour with a level-par 70.

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