MIAMI -- Jason Allred matched his career-best round on the Web.com Tour with a 7-under-par 64 on Thursday to grab the opening-round lead at the 10th annual Miccosukee Championship at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club. He leads Christopher DeForest by one stroke.
The former Pepperdine University star played bogey-free golf and tied his previous low rounds, a pair of 64s at the 2006 Rheem Classic and the 2006 Mark Christopher Charity Classic. His 64 was just one shy of the lowest first-round score in tournament history set in 2010 by Andrew Svoboda and Brandt Jobe. Coming into this event, Allred’s best 2012 rounds were a pair of 65s, the most recent coming at the Mylan Classic in September. He also had a 65 at the Utah Championship in July.
“It was nice to get off to a good start like I did with birdies on Nos. 2 and 3. It was beautiful to start early in the morning like we did and to see the sun rise and do what you love to do,” said Allred, who played in the second group out in the morning wave.
“The last couple of weeks have been a little frustrating and discouraging because I feel my game has been close,” he added. “I just haven’t had good results, but today was really enjoyable to see it all come together. My caddie and I said during a practice round earlier in the week that we just have to recommit to the process and be great at what we can control.”
In his third full season on the Web.com Tour, Allred is 78th on the 2012 money list with $66,767 in earnings, with his best showing a tie for 12th at the Mylan Classic. He knows time is running out with just two full-field events remaining.
“I think in the last couple of weeks I was putting too much into trying to shoot a good score. I put a lot of pressure on myself and didn’t play with a lot of freedom or joy. With so few events remaining, it’s a hard trap not to get yourself into when you’re trying so hard to do well,” Allred continued. “Most guys would agree it’s not the right thing to do.”
Allred had missed the cuts in the previous two Web.com events.
Allred’s start included birdies on five of the first seven holes, and his 5-under-par 30 was the third-lowest front nine score (tie) in tournament history and was just one shy of the record set by Bryce Molder in 2004 and matched six years later by Keegan Bradley. Allred’s 5-under-par 30 was the seventh in tournament history.
Allred’s 64 overshadowed a solid day by Christopher DeForest, who posted a 6-under-par 65. The rookie from the University of Illinois has struggled a bit in his first season on the Web.com Tour with just one top-25 finish to his credit, a tie for 11th at the Midwest Classic in August.
DeForest got off to a slow start with consecutive bogeys on his first two holes and was 1 over par after six holes, but he turned things around after a bogey at No. 6, making birdies on seven of his last 12 holes, including consecutive birdies on Nos. 16-18. DeForest one-putted eight of nine holes on the back nine. In all, he had nine birdies during his round to lead all players and just 22 putts which also led the field.
“I chipped in early in my round on No. 4 to get back to 1 over and then made another bogey at No. 6, but from that point on, I played pretty solid golf and hit a lot of good shots,” DeForest said. “Those first couple of holes are pretty tough when you’re playing into the prevailing wind like that and I think if you check at the end of the day those holes with be playing among the hardest.”
--After nearly an inch of rain on Wednesday, lift, clean and place rules were in effect.
--Peter Lonard (back) and John Chin (flu) both withdrew during their rounds.
--Brian Stuard was a combined 4 under par on the three par-5 holes with two birdies and an eagle ( No. 10).
--Alex Aragon, currently No. 25 on the money list, posted a 3-over-par 74.
--No. 2 was the most difficult hole with an average score of 4.549 (+.549). There were just four birdies. No. 18 was the easiest at 4.324 (-.676) with 5 eagles and 88 birdies.