July 13, 2013
An Interview With:
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome Michael Allen here to the Media Center. Rounds of 67, 63, 72. 54 hole total of 202, minus 8, leader by two strokes.
Michael, great round yesterday. Today, still leading. What were the differences?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, I think that your hex worked. You put that on me yesterday. So I was kind of playing my way through it to start with.
Obviously, yesterday was a lot of fun. I made a lot of birdies and very few bogeys. Today I had a few more bads than goods, but you know, I mean, it's fun. It's nice to be in the lead. If you'd have given me a two shot lead to start the week, I would have been pretty thrilled to have it, I'm sure.
THE MODERATOR: Is it difficult to play with the lead quite so large? You started with a five stroke lead today over Rocco and six over Sluman. Do you change your game plan from how you were playing the first two days?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think the best thing that could happen is to get it a little bit closer than away because I've got to go out there and be aggressive and try to take the lead and really play. I can't just sit back and try not to make mistakes and hope that things work out.
Now I've got a fire under my rear, and I got to get moving.
THE MODERATOR: Let's just go through the round a little bit. You've played the par 5s really well, 9 under for the week, and you start with a birdie on 2.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I hit a good drive, finally hit the fairway, and I hit a 3 wood just over the back of the green. Hit a really wonderful little chip out of the rough to about two feet and made that. So that was nice.
THE MODERATOR: Then you hit a little tough stretch here. You bogeyed the fourth.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I three putted it. I thought I hit a perfect 8 iron in there, and the green just kind of was a little faster than I thought. They're a little faster than they have been during the week. So I hit that about four feet, five feet by, and missed that.
THE MODERATOR: And you dropped two more on 10 and 11.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. 10, I hit it left in the rough, kind of had an awkward shot out of there but got it over the green, which I thought was a good spot. So I kind of got the ball in position anyhow, but then I hit a pretty good chip to about six feet. Then I hit a good putt, and it just lipped out.
THE MODERATOR: Then you come back nicely, though, on 13 and 14 with birdies.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. Today I hit a 5 iron off the tee on 13. Then I hit another little wedge from about 80 yards. I didn't quite hit it as clean as I would have liked, but I just felt I really had to make that. I just really had to get something going. But I was able to make it, so that was nice.
THE MODERATOR: And then that got you back to 10 under, but then you drop a couple more shots on 16 and then 18.
MICHAEL ALLEN: 16, I just hit a bad 7 iron. I thought it was a perfect club downwind a little bit. I just hit a bad shot. But I hit a really nice bunker shot out of some really deep sand. Played my 54, but I missed about a four footer there. Too bad.
THE MODERATOR: Did you think you had that putt on 18 for par?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I did. I hit a good putt there. That was a good one. On all my bogeys, I hit pretty good putts except for 16, and they just kind of lipped out. Today wasn't my day. I had the hex on me, the curse.
THE MODERATOR: Let's open it up for questions.
Q. Michael, how is your neck feeling? It looked like it was bothering you walking up 17 and 18.
MICHAEL ALLEN: It was kind of getting better on the back. But this morning, if Doc wasn't here, I couldn't have played today for sure. For a guy who's never had an injury, this has kind of been interesting for me, see what guys have to go through.
So I'm trying to get through it. It's still tight. I don't know what it is. We'll see. I may not even play the British. I don't even know right now. I've just got to see how it goes, to be honest with you.
Q. You told Dave Marr this morning that you were going to have to be aggressive, even with that five shot lead, and you mentioned it again. Were you aggressive today, or were you too aggressive today?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I thought I came out and played you know, I hit two great shots on like 2, hit a beautiful shot on 3, 4, 5. I really thought I was playing the good shots.
I don't know. I thought I was doing everything I should have done. Things just didn't really work out. I hit it a little left on 8. Hit a beautiful 4 iron from the short rough. I thought it was perfect, taking it at the hole, and it ended up coming 10 yards, 15 yards short of the green. The wind picked up.
I guess the course played a little harder. I guess it always does when you shoot 72 over 63. I felt I stayed in what I was trying to do. I didn't feel like I backed down and kind of backed off things, being a little tentative. I felt I was pretty aggressive overall. So I felt happy overall the way I conducted myself anyhow.
Q. Michael, do you think having won one of the big ones out here, the Senior PGA a few years ago, will help tomorrow?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It always does. Experience always helps. I mean, without experience, I wouldn't feel comfortable and have fun with where I'm at. I'd be a nervous wreck.
Yeah, I mean, to know you can win is always a good thing. I enjoy this. I think this is as much fun as I can have playing golf. This is great to have a chance to win a USGA event and a U.S. Open. I'm just having a good time with it. Just as long as I can feel good, it's even more fun.
Q. Could you just take us through your shots on 18 and what happened?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. 18, I hit, I thought, a pretty good drive, but the wind was really picking up. It came out and just I don't know. The wind blew a little left. It started a little left and ended up in the left rough. I hit a pretty good 6 iron out of that deep rough and rolled way up there, and then it rolled all the way back into the short rough. And then I hit a pretty good wedge from I tried to hit like a 70 yard 60 wedge and came up about 20 feet left. And I hit a really good putt. I really thought I had that, but to be denied. That was my day, to be denied.
THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for Michael Allen?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Just hope you want to talk to me again tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: 54 hole total of 202, minus 8, leader by two strokes. Good luck tomorrow.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Thank you very much.
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