PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - There might not be a player in this week's Honda Classic field with less course knowledge than Jason Allred.
Not that it matters much to him.
Allred, 33, embodies a player who is "just happy to be here." After surviving a Monday qualifier two weeks ago in Los Angeles, he equaled a career-best finish on the PGA Tour, tying for third at the Northern Trust Open. That result earned him an exemption into this week's event at PGA National, which would not have been a problem except for the fact that his wife Kimberly was about to give birth to the couple's third child.
Throughout the past few days, his status for the first event of the Florida swing remained in doubt.
"This was a good problem to have," he joked Tuesday. "We both felt peaceful about it, but we were hoping so much that the baby would come early. Kim was taking long walks and eating spicy foods."
Thankfully for Allred, his wife gave birth to a daughter at 1:25 p.m. MT Monday in Arizona. The newest addition to his family is healthy and thriving – although for the moment, she remains without a name.
"With all three of our kids, for whatever reason, we've had it narrowed down to two (names), but we like hanging out with them at the hospital for a day or two and then deciding," he explained. "We're pretty close. I'll let you know tomorrow morning."
Allred spent Monday with his wife and child at the hospital, then flew across the country to West Palm Beach Tuesday afternoon. He finally arrived at PGA National – a course he had never played before - around 5 p.m. ET Tuesday and promptly birdied No. 10, his first practice hole of the day.
With pro-ams slated for Wednesday, a handful of holes Tuesday against the waning daylight might be the only on-course practice Allred gets in before teeing off at 1:45 p.m. Thursday. He explained that he'll rely largely on his caddie, Keith Nolan, who was on his bag at Riviera and who played the Champion Course during a pro-am this past Sunday.
With no status on the PGA Tour and only conditional status on the Web.com Tour for the 2013-14 season, Allred is hoping to make the most of the opportunity provided by his high finish two weeks ago. The birth of his daughter, though, helped to provide some perspective on the week to come.
"I love this game. I want to do so well at it. But it doesn't define who I am," he added. "I'm just going to embrace it and have fun with it."