home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 6, 2010

Michael Allen


PHIL STAMBAUGH: Michael Allen, 31, 30, 61, 10-under par. It's the lowest score ever shot in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, your career-low round, the fourth 61 on the Champions Tour this year.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Let the good times roll.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: 10 birdies, no bogeys. You were in the zone, I guess.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. It was a pretty good day. I just kind of got off to a good start, wanted to kind of make some birdies early and try and get close to the leaders, and I just kind of kept going. I just didn't want to stop.
I want to keep playing right now. I don't know why we stopped. (Laughs). Yeah. Let's play to 36 today.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: You birdied the first two out of the box. Did you have any sign that it was going to be this kind of a day?
MICHAEL ALLEN: You know, not really, but you know, the putts were -- I had some nice shots, and I finally read a couple of the putts right and got them to go in. So -- especially the one on 2 because I had about a 12, 15-footer there. I hadn't really made one of those all week, so it was nice to finally get one of those to go in.
Then the next hole actually I hit such a good putt; and I was right next to Fred, and he just missed his high, and I knew the line and I hit a great putt. You know, just to hit a good putt like that is kind of nice where you know you're hitting it where you're trying to with good speed. I knew I was feeling pretty good with the putter.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Just take us through all the birdies and if you did have any good saves.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Normally that's easy to do. There's usually a lot of them. The first hole I hit driver and I had a little pitching wedge. I hit it to about five feet, made that.
Then next hole, I hit drive and had kind of a little 8-iron, about a 150 shot, and again, I hit that to probably about 12, 15 feet below the hole and I made that one.
And then the 4th hole, I hit a drive a little left, I hit a rescue out of the rough. Not really a great shot per se, but I had about 160, did a little 7-iron into that, to probably about 10 feet. And obviously I made that.
And the next few holes, the 7th hole, I hit 3-wood off the tee, not really a great drive, a little right, and then not really a very good second shot. Really I actually just missed the greens, just off the right edge and I really made about a nice 20-foot putt there.
And then really the 8th hole, I kind of pulled my 5-iron right at the pin and hit that to about six feet or five feet and missed that. But then 9, I hit a drive right down the middle, hit just a little rescue, raised rescue right in the front part of the green and two-putted.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: From how far?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think my first putt was probably about 30 feet. My second putt was a foot.
The next hole, I missed it the putt. The 11th hole I think it was like 208 to the hole. I just hit a perfect 5-iron, as good as I could hit it, right at the hole and I got a nice bounce just past the hole about six feet, and I made that.
And then 13, I hit a real nice drive there, a great pin there. I hit a beautiful 6-iron to about probably about 15, maybe 18 feet and made that. And then 14, I hit another nice drive right down the middle and hit just a little 7-iron to about five, six feet behind the hole.
15, I mis-clubbed. I should have listened to my caddy. I hate it when that happens, when he's right and I'm not. And then 16, I hit -- I actually hit driver off the tee. It was just cold and into the wind. Hit really a nice pitching wedge, but just kind of caught that little slope, or nice little sand wedge, 54, and caught the little slope and went down to the right, and then I made that, about a 15, maybe 20-foot putt up over the hill.
And then 17, a little two-putt. And 18, I finally hit a good drive on that hole, and I hit a little 150 shot, a little 8-iron to about six feet behind the hole.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Before we go to questions, your 61 is a course record here at Harding Park, Ken Venturi on the old layout had 64.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: And Tom Montgomery had 64, I guess, in the Amex event here. So congratulations on that. Is there anything special about doing that sort of in the area where you grew up?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, I mean there is. This whole tournament being right here in San Francisco is special to me just because, you know, really I guess when I started playing golf, I was going to work for Morgan Stanley, and we got to after about a week in the training program, we got a -- we got the U.S. Open Olympic Club, and my father came home and said, why don't you see how good you can get and play in that and see if you can?
That's really how I kind of got started in the professional ranks. I hadn't really planned to play for sure. So you know, I've always wanted to play in a tournament here, you know. I've never gotten in the U.S. Open Olympic Club, my home course, or Pebble Beach.
So you know, it's nice to be able to come here and play in front of all my friends who went to the club where I've been a member since I was 14. And growing up here, I'm still a member there. You know, everybody's here. My mother still lives here, my family. So it's great to have an opportunity to play here.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: We'll go to questions. Art, do you want to start us off?

Q. Just a couple things about the round and yesterday's round. You said your caddy -- you mis-clubbed on 15.

Q. What's your caddy's name? What did he tell and you what did you hit?
MICHAEL ALLEN: My caddy name is Michael Maroni; a/k/a Madman. You know, we had 167, which would normally be not even really a hard 7-iron, but you know, just into that breeze and the San Francisco air and cold. And he said, just your perfect 175 shot with your 6-iron.
And I said, I'd bring that back into play. So I ended up hitting 7. I hit a really great shot, but it came up 40 feet short. So you know, as I say, I hate it when he's right and I don't listen to him (laughs).

Q. We know what happened on 18 yesterday. Could you describe what happened, and were you really discouraged? Nobody likes to finish like that. And you know, when you came out, what did it do to the end of yesterday's round and the start of today?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think, you know, yesterday I hit my tee shot like a foot into the corner of the bunker where I couldn't even stand. So I had to try and chip it out sideways, and I hit it onto the green to about -- it was right on the front collar. There was a big lip on the collar there, too. So it was hard to hit the putt solid, and I three-putted.
It's always a sour feeling when you kind of finish that way. I mean I figured I was going to make bogey when you hit it where I did, but to make double was kind of sour feeling. But at the same token, I guess, it got me to go out and practice my putting because I missed a little 3, 4-footer there for par, or for bogey.
So maybe that was a good point. It got me to actually practice when this week's kind of a nice easy week where you -- you know, and it's fun. There's a lot of things to do here. I'm always looking forward to getting away and enjoying the city and going out.

Q. Mike, if you were a member at Olympic, how much, if at all, did you play here growing up, and you said you never played a tournament here. Never in the City?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Oh, no. I've played tournaments here. I've played the City. We used to play the San Francisco Juniors. I always remember that course over at Hunter's Point. It's probably the hardest nine holes in golf.

Q. Glen Eagle.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Glen Eagle. Is that what it's called? That's a good name. I won the Scottish Open at Glen Eagle. I like the name.

Q. Can you just talk about sort of what memories you have of Harding growing up?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. You know, I never did that great in the City, that's for sure. My buddy Curt Posey is walking around. He dominated one year.
But you know, the City, I was always happy when I made it into Match Play. I remember one year -- I guess some of my real memories of the City, it was always that time of the year, it was January; it was cold, it was wet, it was raining, which is why I moved to Scottsdale really, because that's when I started playing again, you know, January, February. But I remember qualifying, actually winning the qualifying. Me and Billy Corbin tied for medallist, and we had 15 temporary greens out here.
So you know, that's kind of the way it was. It was always just kind of sloppy golf that time of year around here. But you know, it's what it was. It was great, and the fans came out and people watched. They had 10,000 people watching that weekend, that final weekend. It was a great -- it was always a great tournament.

Q. Are we talking early 80s or late 70s?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. Early 80s probably. Probably late 70s, I probably never even got in -- I never even qualified for Match Play, and I think the best I ever did was I probably lost to Dan Forsman in the second round or something I think.

Q. Freddie is always going to have his gallery out there, but it sounded like you had quite a few people following you. Are those friends from growing up? How did that make you feel to have locals out there supporting you?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It was great. I mean, you know, that's what's nice playing with Fred, because you do get a crowd and it's always more fun to play with a crowd around. Makes it a little more energy out there and stuff.
You know, come up to 9, everybody's "Fred, Fred, Fred," you know. I'm like, what about me? (Laughs).
But I mean it was fun. I mean it was -- I have a lot of friends here who I didn't know. But no, there's a lot of people. I haven't really been around the Olympic Club for the last 20 years. I still pay my dues, you know, but I've had so many good friends, though, for all those years. So you know, it was nice. It was wonderful to see them come out and yell for me a little.

Q. Michael, just a couple details, what are your parents' names, and what did your dad do growing up? He was a member there obviously.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. Well, my father passed away about 12, 13 years ago. He worked for Morgan Stanley his first job, but then he was an entrepreneur. He had the very first VW dealership right after the war, which probably wasn't too popular.
He did a lot of things, and he was basically a real estate developer and did a lot of different projects around the Bay area. And he was a very good golfer. He was a 3 or 4 handicap. And he loved the game. He was really a tennis player when he was young, and once he found golf, he never went back. He always loved it.

Q. What is your mom's name?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Oh, my mother's name is Charlotte. She lives down in San Mateo now. She's back there, Charlotte Allen.

Q. Was that the '87 Open or the '98 Open?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It was the '87 open. Yeah. It was the '98 one I was first on it through the whole country sitting on the range, sulking. (Laughs).

Q. How did you do in the Oakland qualifying this year and how excited are you about the way you're playing, it being at Olympic next year?
MICHAEL ALLEN: You know, yeah, exactly. I mean I always feel I have a chance. But it's hard. I went and tried this year out in Stockton, I think, or Sacramento maybe it was. And I mean I didn't play very well. I didn't come within five or seven shots of it.
You know, it's one of those things I've kind of gotten used to. Over the years I've always wanted to play an Open around here, at Pebble or here and all that. And I always qualified for the ones at Southern Hills and all the places that aren't really that important to me.
But you know, they're all great to play in, and it's always a great experience.

Q. Did you go to San Mateo High?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yes. San Mateo.

Q. You, Barry Bonds and Tom Brady, huh?
MICHAEL ALLEN: That's right. There you go. And Vince Vaughn. Don't forget him.

Q. And you went to University of Nevada. And did you go to JC before that?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I went to UC San Mateo.

MICHAEL ALLEN: CSM. There you go.

Q. And one year there?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I went to one year there and then three years at Reno, yeah.

Q. And how good a golfer were you in Reno?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I was okay. I think I made honorable mention all-American or something. I wasn't all that good. Everybody kind of beat me. So you know, it was all right.

Q. Your caddy said the No. 1 goal is still to win on the PGA TOUR. How important is that -- you've obviously done something right to hang out on the PGA TOUR as long as you have, but obviously you haven't won, which I'm sure you want to.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. You know, it's important to me. It's something that I really want. Am I going to go home and sulk and say I didn't have a great career? I've been able to take care of my family and do what I need to do because of the TOUR, so I'll be happy no matter what, but the ultimate is always winning out there. I've never done that. I've won on all the other Tours I've played on. And it is important to me. That's one of the main reasons I really want to get through next week, so I have more opportunities.

Q. And given that, given that you've tried for so long and didn't win on the PGA TOUR, how satisfying is it to come out here and win a couple times and contend the way you have?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think, you know, this thing has been great. You know, it's like when I play well, I get a chance to win. And sometimes on the TOUR you can play well and you're still eight shots back, you know. It's tough.
So it's just been great really in my development to have a chance to win on Tour, which is kind of weird. But at the same token, you know, that would be the ultimate goal. This Tour has been wonderful, and I look forward to it down the road, but I'd still love to have -- obviously I'm not going to do it too much longer, but next year, I'd still love to have the opportunity to win out there. It would mean everything to me.

Q. Michael, do you have friends that say, you're nuts, you should run out to this Tour full time and take the money?
MICHAEL ALLEN: All my friends, yeah. Those are the guys I call friends, yeah. I mean most of them go, you can make -- I realize I can make a good living out here the next five, eight years, you know, so I'm looking forward to it. I'm having a blast out here. This is fun. It will be a great day tomorrow to go out and play with John Cook, whoever else is there. It'll be a lot of fun either way. I forget where I was going with that. But anyhow. I'm a senior. I can do that.

Q. Michael, I was just wondering after the disappointment of yesterday's double bogey, did you leave here yesterday thinking you had left the chance to win on the 18th?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yes and no. I realized that, you know, I started the day five back and in the end I was still only five back with two rounds to go, so I really thought I still had a chance, you know. I certainly would have liked to close the gap a little more for sure.
But you know, I went home and took a sauna and had a good time and ate some good Chinese food, and life was good, you know. It wasn't the end of the world.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MICHAEL ALLEN: I'm staying in a hotel. I just wanted to come and kind of enjoy the city this week. I got here in time for the Giants to win, which was phenomenal. I enjoyed Monday night, had a great time in the city. So it's been a great week for me all week.

Q. And just a couple of things that you and Freddie might have shared. When we were talking to him about your round, he said not that he wished you a double bogey, but it was worth waiting for to see something like that.
MICHAEL ALLEN: It's nice. Me and Fred have never been that close over the years, but the last little while I've been playing quite a bit, and you know, I think we get along pretty well. And you can't get a nicer guy to play with.
You know, he was struggling out there and was still kind of rooting for me and "great putt, Mike; great shot, Mike," and fixing my ball mark. You know, he's very pleasurable to play with. I had a very nice time with him, real gentleman.

Q. You grew up a Giants fan?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I have grown up first baseball game I ever saw; Giants, 49ers. Love the Warriors. I kind of like the Suns a little more now. I live there. We go to all the games. I've always been a Giants and 49ers fan. I have to answer my phone Joe Montana football season.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, he's a good buddy. We can still root for them when we play other teams.

Q. And I seem to recall previous conversations in the last few years where you talked about sort of your career arc, and at some point considering not playing golf anymore. Can you just sort of talk about that and at what point in your career maybe did you consider going back to the real world?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, I mean that was kind of, you know, I had played the TOUR about six, seven years. It was the mid 90s, I think '96 or '97 and I'd only kept my card one time.
I was just really good at Q-School is the only reason I had a job because I got my card every year at Q-School. So my last year I came back from doing it in 2002, I think it was that year. My boys in my club put on my locker "Q-School all-time money leader." I don't know if it's true. It probably is. I don't know who else made it that many times.
But it was a time also when for me I was just struggling out here. I wasn't very good. I'd been working my butt off, and I couldn't do much more, and I wasn't making the grade. So you know, I always thought I could do other things and get a phone and people would call me and need me. And everybody needs to hire an old golf pro; right? I was wrong about that.
You know, it was a trying period, you know. Me and my wife went through a lot. You know, but we hung in there together, and you know, we -- you know, it's just kind of turned around. I guess eventually down the road a friend of mine got some money together and said, "you should go out and try and play again and you're better than these guys."
And this guy, Mike Mitchell has helped my game so much. He's been an integral part of me coming around, and the guys at Back Nine Fitness keep my body going. So between those two things my career's just been on an uphill swing.

Q. Were you going to be a teaching pro?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I worked at Winged Foot for a while, Sun Ridge Canyon teaching. I built some homes back there, at True North. Tried to get into medical sales. I couldn't get a job. I was just trying to do a lot of things, just seeing what was an option, but you know, didn't work out.

Q. What did Mike Mitchell do for your game? Your caddy said that he basically reshaped it.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. I mean, you know, we've worked so much on structure and getting my body to work properly. I mean just things as simple as your foot, getting your foot to actually have lateral rotation. And my whole body -- you know, so but so much is through structure and just biomechanically, swinging the club properly so my body -- I have less stress on my body now than I've ever had.
My elbows used to be sore, my shoulders, and now I don't have any of those pains. I mean here and there you get a little bit because you're in your 50s, but my swing and my golf game are just all through the restructuring of it and making sure that certain parts move properly and have the ability to actually move and get out of the way, my hips and things like that. You know, so I can maintain my spine angle and move forward and all the things I need to do.
And it takes a lot of work, but you know, now it's -- it's like tomorrow, I go out, I might hit the ball perfect. I really don't know, but I feel like -- I'm not stressing about it. Before I used to -- the guys I used to work with, I was practicing, trying to get my arms to drop, trying to do all this stuff. It was always a lot of anxiety before you played a big round, you know, and now it's far less on those things.

Q. Michael, we always ask questions like this, but do you realize what you have done? In other words, you shoot it and come right in here and start talking. Have you thought about, my God, I shot 61 at this course that I've known for years. Just wondering what that means to you.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I'm sure tomorrow or the next few days it'll sink in a little more. You know, right now I'm just enjoying the moment. You guys want to actually talk to me, so that's nice, you know. (Laughs).

Q. You mentioned Q-School. What do you think -- I mean it's kind of a strange claim to fame in some ways to be sort of the king of Q-School. How do you look back at that? Are you proud that you came through as often as you did or frustrated that you had to go there as often as you did?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Obviously I was frustrated I had to go there, but I think it kind of built my character a lot. You know, when I look back on that, especially, and I think about how important it was for taking care of my family and the things I had to do to get out there, it's lucky I didn't have -- think about the amount of stress I actually had when I was doing it, just trying to do it.
But it's an awful lot of stress you put on yourself, and it's an extremely tough week in the best of times when you're young and you don't even know what you're playing for. It's 10 times that when you actually know what you're playing for and you got a family that's counting on you and you really realize that you really have no other way of making a good living.
So you know, there were hard times, but you know, knock on wood, I'm never going to do that again.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think -- I made it nine times, and I think I made it to the final like 12 or something. So I missed a couple times, and I missed a few other times, you know, in earlier rounds. I probably went maybe 16 times or something.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Continued good luck, Michael.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Thank you very much, guys.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297