Allen leads by 3 after shooting 60
02/07/2014 4:22 PM
02/07/2014 7:13 PM
Boca Raton, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Allen fired a course-record, 12- under 60 on Friday and grabbed a 3-stroke lead after the opening round of the Allianz Championship.
Allen's 60 broke the year old course record of 61 that defending champion Rocco Mediate shot last year in round two at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club.
Allen, who shared third in 2012, won twice last year to push his win total on the Champions Tour to five.
Tour rookie Scott Dunlap fired a 9-under 63 and is alone in second place.
Tom Lehman, the 2011 champion, opened with a 7-under 65. He shares third place with Wes Short, Jr. and Chien Soon Lu. John Cook and Brad Bryant, a pair of former runner-ups, are tied for sixth at minus-6.
Hale Irwin, Steve Elkington, Gene Sauers, Colin Montgomerie and Gary Koch are tied for eighth place at 5-under 67.
Allen started his record-breaking round with a birdie on the 10th, his first. He followed with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14. After a pair of pars, Allen birdied the par-4 17th.
The 55-year-old made a 20-footer for eagle on the par-5 18th to make the turn at 6-under. Allen birdied the first and followed with another on the second.
Allen continued his hot play with birdies at four and five, which moved him to 10-under. Allen's birdie on No. 4 was a lucky one as he was short with his approach, and he skulled his chip, but it fell into the hole anyway.
"That's when you kind of think things are going your way," Allen said of that chip.
With a chance to shoot the first 59 in Champions Tour history, Allen hurt his chances as he parred the par-5 sixth. He got back on track with a birdie on the seventh, his 16th.
"The story of my career -- almost. After I missed that birdie putt on No. 6, I kind of figured it wasn't happening," admitted Allen of shooting 59.
After making par on the par-3 eighth, it all came down to the ninth. Allen failed to hole his approach shot for eagle, but did make birdie for his 60.
"It's great to shoot this round, but if I'm able to win, then it will become even more magical," said Allen. "I think it's harder to shoot a 72 when you're struggling than to shoot a 60 when you're playing well."
Dunlap also played the back nine first on Friday, but he started with three pars in a row. He finally got on the board when he birdied the par-4 13th. He later birdied the 16th and 18th to make the turn at minus-3.
The two-time winner on the Web.com Tour made a charge up the leaderboard as he started the front nine. Dunlap birdied the first three holes to quickly jump to minus-6.
Dunlap's string of birdies ended when he holed out for eagle on the par-4 fourth. He parred the next four holes before closing with a birdie at the ninth, his last.
NOTES: Allen's 60 was the ninth in Champions Tour history ... Dunlap's 63 matched his career low, as he fired a 63 in 2012 at the PGA Tour's Frys.com Open ... Mediate mixed four birdies and a bogey in a round of 69, which left him tied for 22nd.
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