Michael Allen (Flash Area)
Q. How often do you get to play here?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I played here twice in the last five years. Four times, twice this week now.
Q. Bogey on the last hole, other than that, how pleased were you with that round?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I started out not playing very good. I couldn't get the ball in the fairway and every ball came up in just some ‑‑ the rough's a little spotty, you can catch some decent lies and I wasn't, so after my start I was pleased with the way I finished, I hung in there tough. Didn't play my best. But I was able to kind of fight it out and get around here.
Q. How many times have you been on this course in your life?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Probably 2000. As a kid I probably played a hundred times a year. When I was young.
Q. How many times have you eagled 14?
MICHAEL ALLEN: That would be the first.(Laughter.)
It took me three years before I could actually get to the green in two.
Q. Out of those 2000 rounds, how would you rank this particular round with these conditions, not a lot of under par rounds. Top‑10, top‑5?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It's the only round I've really played hardly in competition out here. So for me it is my best round so far. You go out with your buddies and play and shoot 66 or 67 and, yeah you played better, but this has never been a U.S. Open or a U.S. Amateur or anything like that.
So this is great to play well in these conditions. And this is a completely different golf course than I played as a member.
Q. Take us through that shot there at 14. What you were thinking, your emotions, just share them with us.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I had gotten off to a bad start so I wasn't really kind of ‑‑ I was really pretty frustrated at the time. I had just kind of on 13 made a nice up‑and‑down for a par, which the one place you can't hit it is left and that's the one hole out here that's really pretty crazy. It that's shaved off over there. So I hit a really wonderful rescue there to give myself a 10‑footer. So I felt better going in.
So I hit a nice, good drive down the right side and was just in the first cut. I had about 142 to the hole. It was into the wind, it was playing kind of long. So I kind of hit like a nice 150 shot and it just came out. At that point, I just felt I really needed to hit a good shot and get a good birdie putt and then to see it go in. I felt like maybe now I'm kind of back in the tournament and having a chance to still be, get things going out here and get things going the right way.
Q. At what point did you think it had a chance to go in?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I hit a good shot. It was hard to tell, as when you're 5, you don't quite see where the ball lands like the other kids. So I knew I was in pretty good shape and then when all my friend and everybody out there started yelling, it was a pretty nice feeling.
Q. How big is the contingent for you today?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Personally I have about 30 tickets. And they're expensive. (Laughter.)
So but I had a lot of other friends and members and people I've known here, so I had a lot of people out there wishing me well.
Q. So much is made of in this last month you listen to NBA playoffs talk about age and listen to that you can't do what you used to do. What's this say about your ability to be on the leaderboard at this point in your game?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think golf's probably a little different than the NBA or tennis or something like that where I mean this takes a toll. I'm certainly going to be a lot more tired than most of these kids and by the end of the week it takes more of a toll on me than the other guys, I'm sure.
But you know what, the big events advantage they have is fly the ball so far. If I hit it in the rough I'm a little further back it makes it a challenge for me. But I've been here and I've been doing this a lot.
Tom Watson almost won the British Open at 60. That's the great thing about this game. We do have a chance, if you take care of yourself ‑‑ and I work on my game hard and I love what I do, so I think out here I have a chance to be somewhat competitive, I hope.
Q. After qualifying you said the result was kind of secondary. Does your result today kind of change your perspective?
MICHAEL ALLEN: No, really starting out I was really hoping I could kind of break par and that's kind of my goal every day out here. So I didn't quite do it, I had a chance, but I have to play a little better than this the next, the rest of the week to really have a chance for sure.
I did some things pretty well and it was kind of a little sporadic today. It wasn't my best, but I'm sure I can do a lot worse. So hopefully I can get my game going a hundred percent, which I certainly will need to have a chance to be competitive.
Q. Can you talk about the mindset from obviously Champions Tour, PGA TOUR and coming out to this, how different it is?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, on the Champions Tour we don't really get enormous crowds. There's some tournaments that are much more well attended than this. One of the things I love about playing on the TOUR and playing at U.S. Open is I love a really hard golf course, a real challenge. And that's ‑‑ on the Champions Tour we got a lot of really wonderful golf course. They do a great job, but the courses aren't as hard as this, there's no course that's as hard as a U.S. Open course.
But our courses are a little more enjoyable than the extreme test. And for me I love coming out here and I love that part of it. I love the fight, I love the challenge, it's great to get out here and get after the hardest courses in the world. I love it.
Q. Did you wake up this morning, did it feel different coming out?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It always does a little bit, yeah. But I felt really comfortable and calm. It was really a nice feeling to come her and knowing I had some people behind me.
Q. Anybody asking you for advice on the course during the round?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, I mean not as much. I played a practice round with a nice kid, Scott Smith. The kid that went to Reno. And Shane. And I always try to help them around. These kids I play with, they're really nice kids and got a great game and we talked about the course a little bit as we go around, but I'm not allowed to give advice.
Q. Can you talk about how the course evolves during the day here? Obviously this morning it's cool, it's damp, and now it's completely different than that and I'm sure by nightfall it's going to be a lot different than that.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Tomorrow I'll have a much better perspective on it, for sure. This morning the rough's a little damper and it is cool and when the wind's blowing around here and it's cool the ball goes absolutely nowhere. So when it's warmed up like this, the ball's going to fly a little further and the greens haven't gotten too much harder, maybe a little bit, but I'm sure by the end of the day they're going to get a lot firmer.
Q. Do you like the fact that they're not poa annua anymore?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yes. Oh, they're beautiful. When you came out and played, I played the last two years of the Schwab Cup, you come out and they're beautiful. When I played here as a kid they were never very good greens. They were always very, very tough to putt and bumpy and long and it's great to come out to a course right now that's really just in fantastic shape.
Q. Is there any 72 hole score that you have in mind and is that going to change your game plan? Are you looking at under par or changing your game plan?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I certainly believe I can. I believe in myself. I know what I can do out here. So, yeah, I want to get it under par. I would love to get my ball under par by the end of tomorrow for sure. That is definitely my goal.
Q. And for the championship after 72 holes? Anything under par? Do you have anything in mind you're trying to shoot at and progress for the next three days?
MICHAEL ALLEN: It's so hard to say. I've never been good at predicting anything. I'm pretty sure if I'm under par I'm going to be doing pretty well in this tournament. Whether these guys can go out and shoot 5‑under or something like that, I don't know. But I know that under par's going to be a good score for sure. There aren't going to be a ton of them.
Q. Any surprises out there as far as course setup? Obviously they had the tee up on 7 pretty early in the week and they had 16 playing almost the full yardage. Anything out that you were thinking, well, they're probably not going to give that to us the first round and anything that you would maybe like to see differently in round one?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I was really surprised to see how many pins were just tucked so tight to the edge. We must have had six or eight pins three off an edge. So they certainly weren't easy on the pins today, they were pretty tough. I think the course was setup pretty nice.
Sixteen, to me, is just, I don't really ‑‑ it's certainly a very, very tough hole now. I love to get my tee shot in the fairway and see if I can get something in there. But watching the guy I was playing with, he hit two good shots just in the first cut and that ball he hit a beautiful wedge and the first bounce was enormous. So it was ‑‑ that's going to be challenge. I would rather see it a little more forward so everybody has more of a shot, but it is what it is.