Allen grabs the lead at Pro-Am of Tampa Bay
Lutz, Florida (Sports Network) - Michael Allen posted a four-under 67 on Saturday to take the second-round lead of the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay.
Allen finished 36 holes at nine-under 133 and is five strokes clear at a blustery TPC Tampa Bay.
Sandy Lyle (69), Bernhard Langer (71), Corey Pavin (71) and reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Olin Browne (66) are knotted in second place at four- under 138.
Allen played steady golf early in his second round. He parred his first 10 holes until he broke into red figures at No. 11. Allen knocked a seven-iron to 20 feet and rolled home the birdie effort.
At the par-five 12th, Allen hammered his drive down the fairway, just short of the water. He hit a seven-iron to 40 feet and drained the long eagle putt to move to eight-under par for the championship.
"Made the longest putt I made all year," Allen said of his eagle at 12.
He appeared to be in trouble at the par-five 14th when his second got wet. Allen was able to get up and down for par to keep his bogey-free round going.
At the par-three 17th, Allen's tee ball hit a sprinkler head and kicked left. Once again, he was able to save par, this time thanks to a 15-foot putt.
Allen polished off his round in style.
After a solid drive, Allen hit a pitching-wedge to five feet and converted the birdie chance.
"I just thought the front nine, once we got towards the back nine the wind kind of settled in kind of southeast, so I had a much better idea how the wind was blowing," said Allen. "On the back nine, I had much better opportunities to make some birdies there."
Allen's lone victory on the Champions Tour came at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship. He tried for a few years to play on the PGA Tour, but has only teed it up twice on that circuit, focusing almost solely on the 50-and-over tour.
"I'm definitely out here pretty much full time," he said. "I think I should win quite often out here. These guys have beaten me my whole life so I don't expect them not to. They're still great players. When I play well out here, I usually do always have a chance to win, but obviously it's been very tough."
Kirk Triplett, who is making his Champions Tour debut, shot an even-par 71 and shares sixth with Tom Jenkins (71), Kenny Perry (67), Peter Senior (72), Russ Cochran (72) and David Eger (66). The group came in at minus-three.
NOTES: Allen has three top-three finishes this season on the Champions Tour and one top 10 in his two PGA Tour starts...First-round leader Bruce Fleisher struggled to a seven-over 77 and fell into a tie for 27th...Defending champion John Cook shot a one-under 70 on Saturday and is also at plus-one...Tom Watson withdrew before the round with a hand injury...Andy Bean also pulled out with a back problem.
04/14 19:16:26 ET