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Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Course is Michael Allen Playing???

Over at the 34th US Senior Open, something strange is going on and I have no explanation for it. It sounds more like Rory at Congressional a couple of years back than a Champions Tour event.

I mean, for the most part the leaderboard looks like you'd expect at a USGA-sponsored event. Only 9 guys in the field are under par, and another 6 are even par... and they're all names that you'd expect to see. (I have to give a shout out to Gary Koch, who's T8 at 1-under. Koch spends most of his time doing on-course commentary for NBC, and he went through all the levels of qualifying to get his chance here. He truly is "better than most.")

But sitting at the top of the leaderboard is Michael Allen. In a lot of ways, he plays like Inbee Park -- nothing flashy, just getting the job done. He started the second round in a 7-way tie for the lead at 3-under. Then, on a day when the best rounds were 3-under, Allen calmly posted a 7-under 63... 4 strokes better than everybody else! It's insanely good play on a course that's clearly been playing tough. (Tom Watson, for example, said Omaha Country Club had the worst rough he'd EVER played.) Just how good was his round, you may ask?

Michael Allen in action

Allen now holds the record for the largest 36-hole lead in US Senior Open history -- 5 strokes. That's all. And like Inbee Park, he's one of those people who just seems to fly beneath the media radar while doing it.

After a little hunting around I found a summary of Friday's play on this page at PGATOUR.com. (That's also where the photo came from.) Rather than rehash that article, I'll just recommend you read it to get the highlights of where the guys are at the halfway point.

But now Michael Allen, like Inbee Park, finds himself staring history right in the eyes... although it may not be the kind of history he'd like to be remembered for:
"Man, oh, man. The biggest lead?" Allen said with a smile. "So I can blow the biggest lead. Is that what you're telling me?"
It's not the kind of thought you'd like to have knocking around in your head while you try to win your second major.

But then again, Michael Allen has proven time and again that he's plenty tough enough to deal with it.

If you're interested in watching how he does, NBC will be doing the coverage today between 3pm and 6pm ET.

1 comment:

  1. He won his 1st Champions appearance at the 2009 SR. PGA, has a Scottish Open conquest, and qualified for last year's US Open.

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