Copy That Allan Leads Xerox


2006 Xerox ClassicROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Steve Allan fired a 5-under-par 65 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Xerox Classic at Irondequoit Country Club.
Matt Weibring, Chris Anderson, Esteban Toledo, Glen Day, Ricky Barnes, Gary Christian, Steven Alker, Matthew Jones and Richard Johnson are knotted in second place at minus-4.
Allan began on the back nine Thursday and collected his first birdie at the par-4 12th. He hit a driver, then a pitching-wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie and reach 1 under par.
At the par-3 15th, Allan hit a 9-iron on the 171-yard hole and the ball landed 3 feet from the cup. He kicked in the birdie putt, then rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the 478-yard, par-4 closing hole.
After his strong birdie at the 18th, Allan continued his solid play. At the first, Allan hit a poor wedge to 30 feet, but holed the long birdie putt. One hole later, Allan hit a 7-iron to 7 feet and ran home that putt to get to minus-5.
Trouble loomed for the Australian at the par-4 fifth. His wedge-approach shot missed the putting surface left, then he chipped to 15 feet. Allan missed the par save to fall back to 4 under par.
He parred his next three holes before standing on the tee at the 512-yard, par-5 ninth. Allan hit a driver, then a rescue-club for his second, but missed the green. He chipped to 8 feet and sank the birdie putt to move clear of the large pack at minus-4.
'I love these kinds of courses,' said Allan. 'I think it tests every part of your game. You have to drive the ball well because there's a little bit of rough. The fairways are quite tight and the greens are kind of small, so you've got to hit good iron shots and obviously you have to putt well.'
Allan has enjoyed an average season so far in 2006. He is 43rd on the Nationwide Tour money list with $77,737, but he has only made 10 cuts in 15 starts. His best finish was fifth at the LaSalle Bank Open, but the Australian has his goal ahead of him.
'I want to be on the PGA TOUR,' acknowledged Allan. 'I feel like I belong there. I feel like I can compete out there. I've been in contention and it's one of those things I need to work on.'
Defending champion Rick Price, former U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney and two-time winner this season and leading money winner Johnson Wagner are among a large group tied for 11th place at 3-under-par 67.
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