Champions Tour | Allianz Championship

Michael Allen wins Allianz Championship in playoff

 
 
Michael Allen holds the Allianz Championship winners trophy after a two hole playoff with Duffy Waldorf Saturday, Feb 09, 2014 at Broken Sound CC in Boca Raton.
Michael Allen holds the Allianz Championship winners trophy after a two hole playoff with Duffy Waldorf Saturday, Feb 09, 2014 at Broken Sound CC in Boca Raton.
Bill Ingram

Special to the Miami Herald

Michael Allen finished up on Sunday what he started Friday.

Leading after every round, Allen won the Allianz Championship on the Old Course at Broken Sound in a playoff with Duffy Waldorf that lasted two holes. In regulation, Allen shot a three-under 69 and Waldorf a 67 to give each of them an 18-under 198 total, bettering the Allianz tournament record by one shot.

But it was Allen who happily walked away with the first-place check for $240,000.

For Allen, it wasn’t easy — just extremely enjoyable once it was all over.

“With a 60 on the first day, I thought I would win a little easier than this,” he said of his record-setting first round. “I didn’t want to be the guy who shot the lowest score in tournament history and lose the tournament. That wouldn’t be good.

“I really didn’t want to give this one up.”

He tried to put his sixth Champions Tour victory in perspective.

“I’ll never be in the Hall of Fame,” he said, “but it’s fun doing this and to accomplish this.”

The keys to Allen’s victory? There were many.

Obviously, shooting that 60 on Day 1 had something to do with it. That score was one stroke off the best score in any PGA Tour event ever played and also an Allianz and course record.

Then, in regulation on Sunday, two back-to-back one-putts were essential as he placed the pressure aside and placed the ball in the hole. Those putts — a 25-footer for par on No. 13 and a 50-footer for birdie on No. 14 — gave him a one-shot advantage over Waldorf with four holes to go.

The putts also sent the outgoing, talkative Allen into some weird happy dance, half hula and half Funky Chicken.

Allen, 55, freely admitted his dancing skills are lacking.

“It’s supposed to be the cha-cha,” he revealed. “I tried — obviously, unsuccessfully.”

Another key was the first playoff hole on the par-5 18th. It could have been disastrous for Allen.

Allen pulled his drive far left into some palm trees. The palms affected his alignment and he took his time selecting which of two openings to go through the trees. Finally, he launched a 6-iron some 184 yards onto the green, 25 feet from the flag. He missed his eagle putt by an inch.

Waldorf also barely missed a shorter eagle putt and they tied with birdies.

Then came the final key moment, the second playoff hole, which once again was the 18th.

This time, Allen’s drive went right, going directly under a golf cart being used by the Golf Channel.

They started to back the cart up, but came close to running over Allen’s ball. They stopped and carefully pushed the cart away, leaving Allen a clear 194-yard shot to the green hitting off pine straw. Obviously, no penalty.

Once again, Allen took out his trusty 6-iron and placed the shot on the green 35 feet from the pin.

Meanwhile, from the fairway, Waldorf put his shot in a front bunker as he just missed clearing the trap.

Allen’s putt missed by just an inch and his birdie was assured. Waldorf blasted from the trap to six feet away and then slid his birdie putt by on the right edge.

“Just pushed it,” Waldorf said.

Waldorf, 51, who has four PGA Tour wins to zero for Allen, started the day two back of Allen and had early troubles.

“I felt like I lost three strokes on the front because of my drives,” he said. “I was struggling. I even benched my driver at one point.

“But I came back late in the round,” he said, referring to four birdies on the back nine. “I was happy to put myself into position to be in the playoff.”

Finishing third at 199 was Chien Soon Lu, a standout player on the Asian tours, who shot a 69 on Sunday. Tom Lehman shot a 68 to finish fourth at 200.

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