Michael Allen wins Senior PGA in tour debut

By Associated PressMay 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Senior PGA ChampionshipBEACHWOOD, Ohio ' Journeyman pro Michael Allen ended his long victory drought with two late birdies Sunday, shooting a 3-under 67 to hold off Larry Mize by two shots and win the Senior PGA Championship.
 
Allen, who had never won in two decades on the PGA Tour, finished first in his seniors debut. Its the first major of the year for players over 50 years old.
 
After hitting close on the 18th hole, he mugged for a camera and said, About friggin time! while laughing.
 
MIchael Allen
Michael Allen proudly displays his first trophy on either the PGA Tour or Champions Tour. (Getty Images)
Allen had earlier rounds of 74, 66 and 67 to finish at 6-under 274.
 
Bruce Fleisher had a 67 to finish third. Tom Watson, who began the day seven strokes behind Allen, had the low round of the day ' a 66 ' and was fourth.
 
Allen became only the fourth player to win a major championship in his Champions Tour debut, joining Roberto De Vicenzo (1980 U.S. Senior Open), Arnold Palmer (1980 Senior PGA Championship) and Jack Nicklaus (1990 Tradition).
 
Allen drilled a long drive into the fairway on the last hole. His 55-degree wedge approach landed just short of the flag and spun back a few feet below the hole. Needing only a two-putt to win, he rolled in the birdie putt and was embraced by his caddie, family and friends.
 
Allen collected $360,000 for his first win of any kind since the 1998 Greater Austin Open on the Nationwide Tour. His only other win came in the 1989 Bells Scottish Open on the European Tour.
 
But he had never won since joining the PGA Tour in 1988 and playing fulltime for 12 seasons. He had played a dozen regular tour events this year, his best finish being a tie for 22nd at the AT&T Pebble Beach.
 
His biggest paycheck was $648,000 for finishing second at the 2007 Turning Stone Resort Championship.
 
He had received a special exemption to play in the Senior PGA and bypassed the Byron Nelson on the PGA Tour.
 
Allen, who began the day with a one-stroke lead on Tom Kite and Jeff Sluman, had a double-bogey and four bogeys in his first-round 74 but was 9 under with just two bogeys over the next 49 holes as he climbed the leaderboard. Long and accurate off the tee, he seldom found trouble and relied on a steady short game around the high rough and quick greens at stately old Canterbury Golf Club in suburban Cleveland.
 
Sluman closed with a 73 and was at 281 along with club pro Chris Starkjohann (70), Fred Funk (70) and Gil Morgan (73). Defending champion Jay Haas had a 69 and led the pack at 282. Kite was never able to mount much of a threat and closed with a 75.
 
A two-shot swing at the par-4 12th hole ' Allen holing a 6-foot birdie putt and Mize bogeying after hitting into the deep rough off the tee ' put Allen ahead. He quickly gave away the advantage when he was too cautious when hitting a wedge from behind the green and made bogey at the 14th.
 
At the par-5 15th, Allen drove into the deep hay left of the fairway and had to power a long iron underneath an overhanging tree to get back to the fairway. From there he chipped to 10 feet right of the hole and confidently rolled in the birdie putt to grab the lead for good.
 
He still wasnt in the clear, however. He hit a lengthy drive on the 616-yard signature 16th, then elected to go for the green. His 3 wood went through the landing area and ended up in the thick rough on the upslope to the green. But he chipped to 15 feet and barely missed the birdie putt, tapping in for par.
 
Mizes long uphill birdie putt at the par-3 17th ' the toughest hole on the course ' burned the edge, leaving him a shot back.
 
He drove down the middle at the uphill par-4 18th, moments before Allen, who was playing in the final group behind him, stepped to the tee at 17. Allens long iron to the raised green was on line but bounded to the back fringe. He ran his first putt a few feet past, but rapped in the comebacker for par.
 
Mizes second shot to the 18th came up short and right. He elected to putt and rammed the 70-footer some 15 feet by. Then he calmly rolled in the par putt to remain within a shot.
 
Watson birdied four of the first eight holes to get to even par for the tournament, causing some rumblings in the large gallery following him. But two bogeys early on the back nine cost him, even though he hit to 3 feet on the final hole for his sixth birdie.
 
Fleisher, five years removed from his last win on the Champions Tour, played the final 14 holes at 4 under.
 
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  • Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon: