What they said: Michael Allentext sizeJuly 28, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: U.S. Senior Open Championship transcript archive THE MODERATOR: We're here with Michael Allen, 5-under 66 today. I'm going to have you talk through your birdies for the round, but first of all give us your overall impressions of how the course was playing. It must have been a little softer today.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, I was a little surprised to wake up to see all the rain because it wasn't raining when I got home last night at all. So the course was certainly softer. I've been playing practice rounds pretty late, so the greens looked pretty beautiful to me.
You know, overall we got out and we got started and there was really very little wind or anything at all, so it was -- you know, you could get out there and hit some good shots. It was there for shooting a decent score early in the morning.
THE MODERATOR: Did you feel that was an advantage to start off on the back, get the toughest holes out of the way, then hit the front nine?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I did in the fact that I was able to birdie 10 and 12, so you kind of get a couple under par there, and you feel pretty good going into those holes where you can -- you know if you make a bad shot, if you make a bogey, you're not really killing yourself. It puts you a little more at ease when you can get off to a decent start like that. Then you get through those holes like I was able to with all pars, and then you get through those and the course kind of opens up a little bit more you. It's still tough, but --
THE MODERATOR: Was that your sense when you got to 16, 17, you're just kind of hanging on there at that point?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, well, they're good holes but they're fair holes, I think. If you hit a good tee shot, you can get the ball somewhat close. You know, I love the holes and how they play. It's got a nice look and a lot of different looks on different holes. For me, I enjoy those, and I look forward to playing each day, and hopefully I can hit some good tee shots and then I can sit here and tell you how nice the hole is.
THE MODERATOR: Walk us through, please, the birdies for the day. I don't think you had any bogeys.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I had no bogeys.
10, it was a little light drizzle and I think I hit a rescue off that tee and just a nice pitching wedge to about maybe ten feet straight up the hill and made that.
Then the next hole, 12, I hit -- the pin was up front. It was just a perfect 7-iron for me, like 170. I hit that about maybe 10 feet right of the hole and I made that.
And then a lot of pars.
Then 2, I hit a nice 3-wood out there and just trying to kind of run a little 9-iron back to the pin and kind of stayed a little short, so I actually made a 20-footer, which is a very rare thing for me lately.
I guess I birdied the par-5. I hit it a little left off the tee and was able to get a 5-iron up on top of the hill into the light rough and I was able to pitch to about three or four feet. I was able to get that one in.
Then I hit a bad tee shot on the next hole. Maybe it was 7. I didn't hit a very good tee shot, hit it a little left, but I had a nice shot at it, and I was able to hit just a nice little 7-iron from about 150 into the -- kind of hit a straight shot, just kind of keep it under the branches a little bit to about six feet and I was able to make that.
THE MODERATOR: What did you feel were your strengths coming into the week?
MICHAEL ALLEN: My guy Mike Mitchell was here. I was really struggling. I took two weeks off in Italy right before the Senior British Open. I didn't hit the ball very well. And my buddy Mike Mitchell is here, the guy I work with, so he was able to help me out a lot. We've been working on my ball-striking a lot this week. I've been hitting the ball a lot better. I'm feeling like I can get out there and be aggressive on the course.
THE MODERATOR: And you rolled in a few nice putts to go with that.
MICHAEL ALLEN: That's really different.
Q. You won in '09 at Canterbury. This is a different course but still an old style tree-lined kind of long old country club course. Is this something that suits your game, suits your eye??
MICHAEL ALLEN: I like the look of the course. I like the shots you've got to play. So I think it sets up to me as far as something I enjoy playing.
You know, the short holes, there's enough short holes you can be aggressive, so I like that, and then the long holes, you -- they're comfortable, you know, where you've got a lot of different variety. But I like the shot variety and I like the shots.
I feel like out here when I hit a bad shot I know there are going to be some terrible spots to hit it at times, but I also feel like if you miss it in the right place you can kind of play around here pretty well. I know years ago when I played here I didn't do that well at the PGA, but right now I think the course is just setting up beautifully, and I do like playing here. I guess so far Ohio has been good to me.
Q. Is there a huge disparity between the nines in that when you started on the back side you're 2-under, do you kind of go, I really got through that, now maybe I've really got a good round in me??
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I don't watch the leaderboard too much, but when I saw it I realized I was like 2-under and I think the leaders were at 3, and I didn't know which side they had played but I felt like I got through the back side at 2-under par was a pretty good score. It had me in pretty good position to go out and keep staying aggressive and keep trying to make some birdies.
Q. Given that you did get off to such a rousing start on the Champions Tour, are you surprised that you haven't won more??
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I'm certainly a little frustrated at it. I guess kind of reality is that I played 400 tournaments on TOUR and these same guys beat me all these years, so maybe it's not that much of a surprise. It's frustrating. I feel like I'm playing pretty well and I certainly had a lot of good chances last year. I think I finished second three or four times.
You know, I still feel like I can win on TOUR. I guess I only have like one or two more chances. But yeah, I am a little frustrated at it, but again, I'm enjoying playing. I've had a lot of fun out here, and I'm enjoying golf more now than I ever have in my life. Frustration comes with it, certainly in my career.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much for coming in. Good luck tomorrow.
Transcript courtesy of ASAP Sports.