On a World Series Sunday when most Bay Area sports fans were turning their attention to AT&T Park and the Giants’ bid for their third World Series title in five years, one of the area’s native sons was notching up a “W” in Champions Tour golf in the Lone Star State. San Mateo native Michael Allen, whose up and down PGA Tour career was apparently just the prelude to a very successful career on pro golf’s senior circuit, got his second win of the 2014 Champions Tour season on October 26 in the AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio.
Allen recorded his first win of the 2014 season, his sixth year on the Champions Tour, back in February with a playoff victory over Duffy Waldorf in the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Florida. Allen has racked up nine top 10 finishes this year, which includes a T3 at the Principal Charity Classic in early June, and a T2 at the Encompass Championship two weeks later, with fifteen Top 25 finishes out of 23 tournaments.
A five-birdie, three-bogey opening-round 70 put Allen about a third of the way down the leaderboard at the end of the first day of play on Friday, but he bounced back in no uncertain terms with a 7-under 65 in the second round. A lone bogey on the par-three 16th hole was the only blemish on his Saturday scorecard. Allen’s 65 was one of three on the day, the others being put up by Woody Austin and Jeff Maggert. Allen’s 65 shot him 24 spots up the leaderboard into a three-way tie for fourth place.
Austin’s 2nd-round 65, coupled with a first-round 68, saw him in solo second after 36 holes. Maggert, hobbled by a 2-over opening round 74, busted into the top 15 with his Saturday 65; he eventually finished T8 after closing with a 4-under 68.
Crisp play from the second shot on in was the key to Allen’s success on Sunday. Despite being slightly less accurate off the tee than Friday’s round, when he hit 13 of 14 fairways, he hit 11 of 14 today but was on in regulation on 17 of 18 holes. Opening with a 2-under 34 on the front nine, Allen got a jump on his round with back-to-back birdies on the first two holes. He heated up down the stretch, closing with a 4-under 32 after birdies at the 12th, 15th, 16th, and 18th holes, for a clean-card 66 and a winning three-round total of 201.
Allen’s third-round 65 was good enough for a two-stroke win over Marco Dawson, at 203, and three strokes clear of Woody Austin, who closed with a one-under 71 for a 204 total. Dawson, a native of Germany who moved to Florida at age nine, led after the first and second days with rounds of 65 and 67, but fell back with four bogeys for a closing round 71.
Today’s win moves Allen nine spots up the Schwab Cup leaderboard to eighth place in the season-long championship race, but he and the rest of the field will be playing for second next week at the Schwab Cup Championship at the Desert Mountain Club in Cochise, Arizona. Bernhard Langer, who has been playing lights-out golf all season, clinched the Cup with today’s two-way T6 finish before the first ball was even teed up in the Championship tournament. The German senior Tour phenom has carded five wins, four seconds and three third-place finishes this season, with 17 out of 20 top 10 finishes, and has finished out of the top 25 only once this year in Champions Tour events.