By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Michael Allen has a chance to exorcise a pair of demons Sunday at a course that’s familiar and friendly to him.
Allen, a native of nearby San Mateo whose history at TPC Harding Park dates to his junior golf days, sits two shots back of leader Jay Don Blake at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He’s 6 under par after a third consecutive 69 and is tied with Jay Haas and David Frost.
A year ago at the Champions Tour season finale he led going into Sunday after a third-round course-record 61, but John Cook shot 67 in the final round to Allen’s 70.
That was Allen’s last runner-up finish on Tour. This year his best effort has been a pair of T3s, extending a winless drought that stretches to 2009.
Allen won his very first Tour start that year, at the Senior PGA Championship, but the second win has proved elusive.
“Getting a win is kind of big in that we all come out here to play to win. In the end, that’s why we’re here,” Allen said. “When you finally win, you kind of remember that you know how to do it.”
Allen never won in 366 PGA TOUR starts, and he’s chasing Blake, who won once in 497 TOUR starts. Blake’s win came in 1991 and he went 20 years before winning again, in September at the Songdo IBD Championship.
“Jay Don, like I have been doing, he’s been a journeyman out here playing for a long time,” Allen said. “To me, when I go out now, I have fun with it. (Sunday’s) going to be a fun day no matter what.”
The fun will be enhanced by a vocal gallery that has followed him all week, family and friends from the area and from Arizona, where he now lives.
“I feel like I’m very comfortable in this area, hopefully that vibe will carry through and I can get some good mojo out there tomorrow,” Allen said.