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July 11, 2012

Michael Allen


JOE GOODE:テつ Good afternoon, everybody.テつ We're very happy to welcome Michael Allen to the media center, who is playing in his third U.S. Senior Open, recording top ten finishes in both his first two appearances.テつ Michael's had a very successful start to the 2012 season, hosting two Champions Tour victories and delivering a very solid performance at this year's U.S. Open before home club crowd at the Olympic club, where he's been a member since the age of 14.
Very exciting to watch out there.テつ It's great to see you in your second USGA event this year.テつ Can you tell us how you've been preparing since Olympic?テつ And are there parallels between the U.S. Open and the Senior Open?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Nice to be here.テつ I've been preparing really by just playing every single week.テつ So it's been a long run.テつ The Open Championship at the Olympic Club was so important to me.テつ I've always wanted to do that my whole life, and then to finally kind of wait this long to be able to do it was absolutely one of the thrills of my life, certainly on the golfing frontier anyhow.
I think some of the parallels are for the U.S. Open and all USGA events pretty much, they always take the very nicest golf course we have in this country and make it as hard as they can, certainly, for who's playing.テつ They may not make this as hard as the U.S. Open for the young guys, but they take these wonderful, great golf courses we have in this country and preparing them in a way that you just don't find every day.
On the U.S. Open side, you have all the best players in the world, and everybody else that has a 2 handicap or better has a chance to get into it.テつ It's everybody's dream.
That's kind of what we have here.テつ We have all the guys who are the best players over 50 and all these other qualifiers who have a great opportunity to come and play in a national championship.テつ It's always a thrill to play in a USGA event.
JOE GOODE:テつ You played 18 yesterday, you played 9 today.テつ Can you size up Indianwood for us?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ If you hit in the middle of the fairway, you can make some birdies.テつ You should do decent.テつ The fairways are narrow, and there's a lot of rough out there.テつ I've never seen so much rough for any event I played in on the Champions Tour.テつ I think it's going to be a real challenge.
It's a beautiful golf course.テつ If you drive it well, you can shoot a decent score.テつ It is really a challenge out there with this rough.テつ And these greens are tricky old greens you just don't see these days.
JOE GOODE:テつ We'll open it up to questions for Michael.

Q.テつ You said that your preparation for the championship was to play every week.テつ But now you're coming into a place that you probably need more preparation because it's set up harder.テつ So what do you do in practice rounds to take that back?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ This course seems to me to set up where, number one, at Olympic Club, if you missed it in certain areas, you look at angles in.テつ Number one, I'm trying to see where those things are out here because there are a lot of those little angles.
Out here also, the greens sit up, so you can't really run the ball in.テつ Really, though, I'm just kind of checking the greens, chipping around them quite a bit, making sure and chip out of the rough, getting a good feel for that.
And the rest is, if I hit the ball straight, you really are just trying to make sure you understand where these humps are and bumps and where I need to hit it on the left side to keep it inside that big nose coming down.
We haven't figured out 18 yet.テつ I was going to say hit in the middle of the green, but you'd really be in trouble if you did that.テつ That's going to be a different animal.テつ I'd be interested to see where they put these pins.テつ Some of these greens, there aren't that many pin placements.テつ You're going to have to really execute and hit the ball up the middle of the green, and you'll have some decent putts, and the ball will fall in the right way.
JOE GOODE:テつ How do you think you'll play 9 this week?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I've only played that once.テつ I thought about just bashing a driver up into the rough on the other side, get a little wedge in from there.テつ But probably the better part of valor is probably take a 4 or 5 iron and hit it up the left side.テつ From there, you've only got about a 9 iron or 8 iron left.
Once again, you've got to execute there.テつ There aren't many places here you can get away with kind of skanking around.テつ You've really got to hit good shots out here.
JOE GOODE: テつSome of your fellow players were commenting on how challenging 17 can be.テつ Could you comment on 17?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Wow, depending on the wind.テつ If the winds were right to left, it would probably be a little easier.テつ Any of those pins on the left‑hand side are extremely difficult to get to, especially on a left‑to‑right wind.テつ Hopefully, I can make a few putts from the bowl, hit in the middle of the bowl and make it out of there.
17 is a very difficult hole.テつ Again, I think it depends on the winds.テつ We played yesterday, it was left to right, and that front left pin.テつ I mean, you can't miss it left because left you're going to make.テつ You can't really chip it on the right level so it's always going to be on the bowl.テつ So it's probably the better part of valor to take and kind of just hit in the bowl and hopefully the pin will be there once or twice when you hit it there.
JOE GOODE:テつ Do you prepare mentally differently for a major championship like the U.S. Open?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I think of it differently for sure.テつ I know that, number one, pars are always going to be good scores.テつ In these kinds of tournaments, you know you're going to be frustrated a few times.テつ You're going to hit some shots that don't turn out as well.テつ You've got to have a lot of patience out here.テつ You've got to go through it and kind of stay in the ball game.テつ You're going to have bad stretches and good stretches.テつ You've got to get through those bad stretches and try to get through with the least amount of damage.テつ And hopefully, you have two or three good runs out here where you can make up some ground.

Q.テつ Michael, you've had a Champions Tour major already.テつ Congratulations on that.テつ Does that make it easier for you coming into another major event like the U.S. Open and contend to win?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I guess in a certain way.テつ I know I've done it, and that's always been my thing originally.テつ You want to win that first time so you know you've done it.テつ Should make it a little bit easier.テつ I've still got to beat the same guys.テつ So it's reallyhow much patience, how much desire do you have to go out there and just keep grinding away.
I look forward to this challenge.テつ I love playing hard golf courses.テつ So for me to get up in the morning and go out and know I'm playing here each day is what I really love doing when I'm playing golf.テつ I love playing a course like this with a challenge like this.テつ It's what makes it all fun.
JOE GOODE:テつ Michael, great to have you this week.テつ Good luck.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Thank you very much.テつ I'll need it.

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