LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A few years back the members at Michael Allen’s home club in Scottsdale, Ariz., posted a sign on the affable journeyman’s locker – All-time leading Q-School money earner.
Times are much different for the reluctant senior. In 2009 Allen won the Senior PGA Championship and he has three runner-up finishes this year on the over-50 circuit, including last week’s shootout with John Cook at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Allen finished the season ninth in Champions Tour earnings but is 124th in PGA Tour cash and made the cross-country trip from Harding Park to central Florida on Monday with hopes of keeping his Tour card. Although he’s traditionally played well when he’s faced similar situations, Allen admitted on Wednesday at Walt Disney World Resort it is harder this time around knowing he has the senior circuit to fall back on.
“That is the challenge this week,” said Allen, who advanced out of Q-School nine times. “You’re always at your best when your back is against the wall, and I’m trying to keep that attitude, but the reality is different.”
The reality is the 51-year-old has carved out a comfortable living on the senior circuit and, as the members at Mesa Country Club will attest, he’s played in enough fall classics.
“I am done with Q-School, man,” he smiled.