MORE: Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic transcript archive
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Michael, you fire a final round 66, no bogeys, and you make a pretty good run at Fred, actually tying him there in the closing stretch, and then he birdies the last hole to win, which you can't do anything about because you're posted. Just a few thoughts about your day, and did you watch the scoreboard coming down the stretch.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I went out and I had a very good day. I missed a little short putt on 1, about three feet for birdie. I was like, aww.
But I came back and made a nice putt on 2 to make birdie, nice little four footer and kind of got things going. So I played nicely. I made two nice saves during the day, one on 9 and one on what was the other one? I chunked one at 13, or 12. And other than that I played very nicely. I had a great time out there playing. The golf course was fantastic.
You know, it was fun. It's always fun to have a chance. I didn't think I'd really when I saw Fred at 15, I didn't think I'd have a chance to tie, but it's amazing how things work. So it was a nice opportunity to at least stay and think I'd get in a playoff.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: You told us about the birdies at 2, but you made three in a row, 5, 6 and 7 to move into contention.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. 5 I hit a nice drive down the left side and hit a little pitching wedge I hit to about two feet.
Then the next hole I hit a drive and a 3 wood on the par 5. I missed it left of the green, pin high. But I had a nice chip down to about 10, 12 feet and made that, so I was able to make a couple nice ones.
And then the 7th hole, I hit a beautiful little shot from like 97 yards to about a foot behind the hole. So those are my main birdies.
And then really, the up and down on 8 and 9, I hit it a little left on 8 or just a little short. I hadn't even hit a practice bunker shot the whole week, and I hit a very nice bunker shot there to about six feet and then hit too much club on the 9th hole over the green and happened to make it from about 25 feet below the hole. Those were really kind of the keys to the round, making those two pars.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Tell us about the back nine.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Oh, the back nine, just some a lot of pars. I had nice birdie putts. Always about 15 feet, maybe 20 feet.
And then I hit the par 5, I think it's 13, in two. I hit a 3 wood on there to about 20 feet and just missed my eagle.
Then I hit it on the green on 15, also, in two with a hybrid. And I was able to two putt. Again, I almost made that, but that was from about 60 feet.
Q. Did you say you had a par save at 12??
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yes, the short one I did. I hit a driver and I had just a little 95 yard shot, and I just cold chunked it short of the green, but I was able to make about an eight or ten footer from behind. Again, that was the pars were really key today because they kept me in the game.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: And then just take us down the stretch. You closed with three pars, but at what point did you realize where you were, and just talk about that.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Really when I was on 15, I saw Freddie was at 14 and I was at 12, and I think Sluman was still at 12. So that was kind of the first time I really looked at board where I kind of was interested in where I was, and at that point I knew I had to two putt, which I was able to do easily.
I hit a bad tee shot on 16, the only bad tee shot I hit all day, but I hit a wonderful 6 iron hook around the tree and up to the green, and really I just misread it a hair, I under read it a fraction and almost made that.
17, I hit a beautiful 5 iron in there and it caught that ridge short of the hole and came back, but I hit a great putt from there. Peter Senior was right in front of me and I just left it two or three inches short right in the middle of the hole.
And then 18, I knew I had to make birdie to really I thought to have any chance at all. And I hit a good drive down the right side. I hit a 50 degree wedge, and I hit that to about 15 feet below the hole. I hit a good putt, just fell below the hole, and was actually amazed to see I had a chance to even be in a playoff.
Q. I don't know how much you watched Fred on 18, but just as difficult as that hole was playing, the kind of shot he had, obviously that was kind of impressive, just how hard that hole was throughout the tournament??
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, well, 18 this year they had the tees up a tee block, and it was playing downwind the whole time except for the first two. The last two days yesterday I hit a terrible tee shot, but it was just kind of a driver wedge hole. But the key to that hole is just getting that right distance so you land it on top of the hole because if you land it too far it kind of scoots on. That's kind of the difficulty of the hole is getting it downwind and downhill and trying to judge it properly where you can land it on top of the hill so you can have a chance for it to feed to the hole.
Q. I guess most of us are never in a situation like you're in, but what's it like to be signing your card and all of a sudden, hey, there's a playoff possibility. What's running through your mind at that time??
MICHAEL ALLEN: Probably it was the first time I got nervous. I was pretty relaxed. Maybe starting off I'm a little uptight here and there, but for the most part I'm pretty relaxed out there. I don't get too caught up in it. That's one of the reasons I don't watch scoreboards, don't need my extra anxiety, just do what I do. All of a sudden I'm like, do I have to think of a speech?
But it's a nice feeling to actually go, I might still have a chance.
Q. Obviously the course seemed like it was playing harder as the tournament wore on and you played your best golf when it was probably at its hardest. How were you able to manage everything as the course got faster and more difficult??
MICHAEL ALLEN: For me always courses work better when they're fast. They're much better for me because my ball flight is so low, so when it's fast my ball starts running, I start getting it out there a long ways, so that helps me a lot.
You know, one of the reasons I love playing the PGA TOUR is I love the challenge of a really hard golf course. That's what I really that's why I love playing Honda or so many of the TOUR courses, so when it gets harder like this, I just love the challenge of it. It kind of gets me a little more focused and trying to play shots. A little breeze makes it more fun.