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July 12, 2013

Michael Allen


THE MODERATOR:テつ We'd like to welcome Michael Allen here to the Media Center, 67 and a 63 today, for a total of 130, 10 under par.テつ Just run through this real quickly.テつ The five‑stroke lead is the largest in U.S. Senior Open history through 36 holes and the largest in Champions Tour major history in 16 years.
The 63 is the second lowest 18‑hole round in a U.S. Senior Open since Loren Roberts' 62 in the third round in 2006, and the 130 36‑hole total is the lowest in U.S. Senior Open history by three strokes.テつ So pretty good round today.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Man, oh, man.テつ You're scaring me just a little bit there, man.テつ You're putting the pressure on me.テつ The lowest score ever.テつ Man, oh, man, the biggest lead.
So I can blow the biggest lead.テつ Is that what you're telling me?テつ Oh, man, that's not right.
THE MODERATOR:テつ No, a great run today.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ It's been a great day.テつ Started out tough.テつ My neck was hurting so much.テつ This guy, Kevin Unger, really helped me a lot this morning so I could play.
Other than that, just, you know, it was a nice day, the preparation and the family here.テつ It's been a good week so far.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Let's go through some of the birdies today.テつ There were a lot of them to go through and an eagle as well.テつ Second hole, the par 5.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I started out great.テつ I didn't hit a great tee shot there, but with the wind I was able to put a hybrid in front of the green and chip up to about a foot.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And the 4th hole?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ There, I hit a nice drive.テつ I hit what I thought was a perfect 8 iron, but it came up about 20, 25 feet short, and I made that putt.テつ It was beautiful.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And you followed it up on the next hole, the par 3 5th?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Yeah, I hit a good drive there.テつ No, that was the par 3 5th.テつ I hit a good drive.テつ I hit a good drive with a 7 iron to about 12, maybe 15 feet right below the hole.テつ It was really‑‑ I couldn't have played it any better, and then I was able to make a nice, as I say, that putt.テつ That's a wonderful hole there.テつ It's nice to be able to birdie it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And then three in a row on the 6th hole, par 5.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Yeah, the par 5, I hit a great drive. テつWe weren't sure to hit 3 wood or not because they moved the tee up on us, and I only had like 122 yards to the hole.テつ I really hit a little 50 degree wedge to the upper level, but I was able to roll it down to about a foot and tap in for an easy birdie.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And the 8th hole, par 4?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ That was a really good birdie because I hit a really good drive.テつ I had 209 yards to the hole.テつ I hit a good 4 iron to, again, about 10, 12 feet, kind of right below the hole.テつ It couldn't have ended up in a better spot.テつ I was able to make that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Not many birdies there.テつ Playing the hardest this week so far.テつ And you made a nice par save on the par 3 11th.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I did.テつ I was starting to really feel the heat.テつ I was eating an apple.テつ I was eating Clif bars.テつ I was trying to get myself back.テつ I was struggling a little bit in the heat and the climb.
So we had kind made a mis‑club.テつ Didn't hit it that good.テつ Hit a 9 iron there.テつ Trying to get it up and down.テつ Making a kind of nice six‑, seven‑foot putt.テつ I had a nice break three, and I was able to make that.
THE MODERATOR:テつ You bogey 12 and then come back with a nice birdie on 13.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Yeah, 13, I was kind of overcoming the little bit of heat exhaustion, whatever.テつ I hit a nice 4 wood down the middle of the fairway.テつ I had about 77 yards to the hole and was able to hit that to about a foot or two.
THE MODERATOR:テつ And capped it up off with a nice eagle with a long putt on the par 4 14th.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I hit a nice drive right into the wind, and I hit a really good hybrid up there.テつ I thought I was in pretty good shape, but I saw this putt that broke like 20 feet.テつ If I hit it a little softer, it would have gone down below the hill and almost gone down the green into the long rough, to be honest.
I was trying to hit it to about ten feet, and the hole got in the way.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Very good.テつ We'll open up to questions right here in the middle.

Q.テつ On the long putt, are you watching it the whole way and thinking, boy, this is taking a long time to get there?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ On that long eagle putt?

Q.テつ Yeah.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ You know what, it was a long‑‑ I had to get it up over the hill, and it came off pretty quick.テつ Then after that, it never really slowed down.テつ I never had time to really think that, but my caddie was able to grab the ball out of the hole for me, and it saved me about 40 or 50 steps each direction.テつ So that was good.

Q.テつ How long would you estimate the putt?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Where was I?テつ I was playing like ten yards short of the‑‑ it was probably like 60 feet, something like that, but it was the amount of break it had in it, and the angle and the break was‑‑ literally, I thought, if I get it eight, ten feet, it would have been a really good putt, and I would have been very happy with that, to be honest.

Q.テつ After you saw it slam dunk, what was your reaction?テつ You looked up, and you said something.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Well, I was just sayingit wasn't about me.テつ Obviously, something else happened.テつ It wasn't me.テつ I mean, what do you say, the Lord did it or whatever?
It was nice it went in, and it was kind of out of my control.テつ I had one of those before one time in Scotland.テつ I made the longest putt I've ever had.テつ Hit the hole, bounced up, and went in, just kind of like that one.

Q.テつ Stu kind of stole my thunder there, but I'll ask you anyway.テつ Just even going back to your reaction to that, looked like you kind of shrugged your shoulders and threw your hands up.テつ Is it just kind of one of those days where everything is going right?テつ Is that kind of what you're saying there?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Exactly.テつ I could hit that putt 100 times and not get it within five feet, I guarantee you.テつ So I hit a good putt.テつ I did what I was trying to do, but then it went in.
Yes, that's exactly.テつ It's one of those days, things were going right, and that was one of the things that really went right.テつ It actually fell in.

Q.テつ Also wanted to ask you, I think you have, what, maybe three top tens in your last four outings.テつ Do you feel like your game really was kind of rounding into form for this event?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ You know, I do.テつ I've been working hard, and Mitch has helped me a lot.テつ He's come out a couple times.テつ I got off to kind of a slow start this year.テつ My putting has been pretty inconsistent.
But right now, I feel like I'm playing pretty well.テつ I prepared pretty well.テつ So I feel good.テつ I'm enjoying the competition and enjoying my opportunity here at The Open.

Q.テつ When you make a putt like that‑‑ back to the putt, do you feel like, wow‑‑ you're going to remember that putt probably for a while tonight and tomorrow.テつ When you look back on that, do you think something's predestined here, this is going to be a good weekend, or I hope my luck hasn't run out?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Well, you kind of look at the way things have gone so far.テつ I've chipped in a couple times.テつ Yeah, a lot of good things have happened so far.テつ I've played some bad shots and kind of gotten away without killing myself.
So I mean, if you want to say that, you can look at it that way, but I don't want to‑‑ I certainly don't want to go there.テつ There's too far to go.テつ Hopefully, in the end, it's predestined, but I got a long way to go.テつ Only halfway there.

Q. テつWhat did you do to your neck, and how did you fix it?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ You know what, I don't really have any idea what I've done to my neck, but it's been here since the tournaments out in North Carolina last year.テつ I've been trying to work on getting over it and haven't been able to.
It doesn't seem to really affect my golf too much, but today I was extremely sore.テつ This guy was able to help me out quite a bit.

Q.テつ Michael, I saw Rocco in your vicinity out here.テつ Did he say anything to you?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Not today, but we've been good friends over the last little bit.テつ I was watching him hit shots backwards yesterday.テつ He was showing off in his bare feet and stuff.テつ We've been having a good time out here competing and just going out together once in a while.

Q.テつ He is a bit of a character and draws kind of a character sort of crowd.テつ What are your thoughts on playing with him tomorrow?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ I think it's great.テつ I couldn't have a better pairing.テつ We'll keep each other loose and have a good time together.
We play good golf together.テつ It's fun to play with the guy you like playing with.テつ That couldn't be a better pairing as far as I'm concerned.

Q.テつ Playing Olympic Club most of your life, real hilly course, lot of bounces, interesting slope changes.テつ How much of an advantage do you feel that gives you in playing a course like this?テつ A lot of players have commented on how hilly this course is and how much of a challenge that makes it.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Well, I mean, I never really thought I had an advantage on anybody but‑‑ you know, I think, really, playing Olympic Club my whole life, you learn‑‑ that's why I set up the way I do with that right hand, because you're always adjusting to a lie.テつ That's something I couldn't change right now if I wanted to.
It's because you're making those adjustments to lies, the ball is above your feet, below your feet, it's downhill, uphill, and that's kind of how I started to doing that, making those adjustments when I was young.
I don't know.テつ The only thing I'm doing well right now is really staying in there.テつ I'm hitting a lot of pretty good shots.テつ I'm managing myself around the course, me and my caddie Maroney are doing a pretty good job.テつ It's fun to play a course like this where you got to make a lot of adjustments.テつ I personally enjoy the challenge.

Q.テつ You mentioned a couple names.テつ Could you elaborate on them?テつ Unger first, and then Mitch.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Mike Mitchell, he's‑‑ someone asked me the question out there, what's happened? テつI think Dottie Pepper did.テつ There was a big change, and I quit playing for a while.テつ The perspective I have, trying to work, Mike Mitchel came along and helped me quite a bit, changed my game.テつ I used to work with Hank Haney.テつ Didn't help.テつ It's been great.
I enjoy playing a lot more.テつ I don't sit there and worry about my golf swing every day, and that's been a big part of it.

Q.テつ How about Unger?
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Kevin or Keith?テつ Keith Unger, yeah.テつ He's a guy that's come out‑‑ I guess used to be on Tour quite a bit.テつ I didn't really know him, but this morning I was really hurt.テつ Thought I'd come out to the trailer and see if they can help me, but he was here.テつ Worked with him in Shoal Creek‑‑ where was the last one?テつ Oh, in Pittsburgh.
And he was able to help me quite a bit.テつ It's a little different stuff.テつ He gave me acupuncture and kind of did a lot of different things.テつ So I don't know if it's magic or something, but it kind of worked today.テつ I'm going to have a session with him when I'm done here and see if I can keep working on it.
I've been trying to get rid of this.テつ There's been doctors and chiropractors.テつ I mean, everybody's been trying to get rid of it, and it hasn't gone yet.テつ We'll see.テつ Hopefully, he can help it.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any other questions for Michael Allen?テつ Is 1:30, 10 under par, in the final group tomorrow.テつ Good luck.
MICHAEL ALLEN:テつ Thank you.

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