Late last year during the PGA Tour’s playoff stop in New Jersey we were talking with Michael Allen when he mentioned that a Champions Tour Q-School application had just arrived at his house. “What am I going to do with that?” he smiled. After being introduced as the Senior PGA champion, a title that was also won by Arnold Palmer: “If you refer to me and Arnie, the only thing we had in common before was we liked to drink wine.”
On Sunday one of the game’s most endearing journeyman got his answer, a victory in his first start on the 50-and-over circuit and a major championship for good measure. There are no shortage of reasons to like Allen, but his post-round interview says it best.
On his first victory in a Tour-sanctioned event in 334 attempts: “Three hundred and thirty-four? Seems like just yesterday.”
On his pre-final round meal Saturday night in Ohio: “Went over to Flemings and I drank some nice pinot noir. I figured red wine is good for your nerves. White wine is not good; I drank that Wednesday night, so you can see what happens. “
On leaving the Cleveland/Orlando NBA playoff game Friday night, which was won by a buzzer beater, with one second remaining: “It was one second. What could happen?”
Finally, when a scribe asked what he would do with his prize money Allen smiled: “I could buy you all champagne is what I would like to do.”
Tony Lema would be proud.