2009 Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen his wife, Cynthia, were all smiles after Michael captured the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy. (The PGA of America)
News Conference Transcript: Michael Allen
On Mon., April 19, 2010, defending Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen got his first look at Colorado Golf Club, site of the 71st Senior PGA Championship, and afterward met with the media to discuss his victory, his career, the course and more. Here's a transcript of his news conference.
JULIUS MASON: Good afternoon, everyone. I'm Julius Mason, Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations for the PGA of America.
As we all get settled in, please turn your attention to the monitors around the room for a reminder of the history and tradition that is the Senior PGA Championship.
JULIUS MASON: Once again, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 71st Senior PGA Championship Media Day at Colorado Golf Club.
We have some special guests in the audience that I would like to recognize. And please join me in welcoming first, from the Colorado PGA Section, a big reason why golf is so popular in the great state of Colorado, please welcome President, Tim Lollar.
Honorary president, Alan Abrams.
Secretary, Barry Milstead.
And Executive Director, Eddie Ainsworth.
From Colorado Golf Club, General Manager, Marshal Brereton.
PGA Head Golf Professional, Graham Cliff.
Superintendent Tony Hartsock.
Also joining us from our Senior PGA Championship Office right here at Colorado Golf Club, your local celebrity, PGA of America's Championship Director, Jeromy Manser.
From PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, please welcome, David Charles, Senior Director of PGA Championships.
And Earnie Ellison, the Director of Business and Community Relations.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to turn the microphone over to the general chairman of the 71st Senior PGA Championship, and a very good friend of the PGA of America, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McGetrick.
MIKE MCGETRICK: Thank you. And thank you to all of you for coming today, you can see in this room right now there's so much energy; and golf really has started in Colorado for this year. The spring is good and we played today and it was fun at media day, and we went out there and Graham told me we were going to play from the blue tees today and I thought, well, I don't need to practice; and Michael said we had to play it all the way back, the way we are going to play it in the tournament.
So we played it all the way back and had a great time. So I'm looking forward to hearing his comments of the golf course, because it was a great day. But a lot of you that are members here, it just, it means so much for -- I look back and reflect that 18 months ago when we talked about hosting this championship, and here we're just weeks away from hosting this championship and feeling the energy, and I said on our first press conference that to have a successful event you to have that team. And that team starts with the Colorado Golf Club membership. It's just been amazing, and I see so many of you here today, that the membership has embraced this championship. And that it's going to be here soon.
Working with the PGA of America, one thing I always say about golf, when you play golf, and many of you have heard me say this, that it should be enjoyable. Regardless if you play a good round of golf or a bad round of golf, it should be enjoyable. But this whole experience working with the PGA of America, the Colorado Section, it's been a fun experience and I can't wait, the ending of it will be when we crown the champion and we have everybody here, the players. And what I hope is that we'll hear from the players that they will talk about what a fun time they had playing Colorado Golf Club.
Some are going to play great, hopefully Michael plays great, and some of them won't. But if you hear, and when they tell you that, boy, this was a great championship golf course, a golf course that challenged you, that's what I hope I hear from them. I hope they say, you know what? I hope I come back and play it again some day.
I haven't been on the golf course for awhile and I know talking to Graham, we had a nice day, had about 130 members out here playing yesterday, but that golf course right now, for three weeks into April, is just phenomenal. Tony, you and your staff have just, it's great. I know it's going to be great for the championship.
It was nice seeing that rough laid down a little bit, so you can hit out of it, because about two weeks from now we're all in trouble.
Tony was showing Michael today where it goes from two and a half inches and then it goes to four inches and maybe where it goes longer. So it's going to be long for us.
But getting back to what I want to share with everybody is, to make this a great championship it is the team that's here; and we, with the economy as tough as it's been, it's impacted the whole world, but we have done real well with hospitality and the hospitality sales group has just done a phenomenal job.
All the chalets on 16 are sold out. All the cottages are sold out. The Champion's Club that's going to be down on 18, there's still some tickets left for that.
But really what we all need to do now in this room, the members of Colorado Golf Club, the friends of members, and all the media outlets that are here, is really start to let everybody know about this championship. And get a big fan base out here, because the fans are going to enjoy it.
You're starting to see a lot of advertising, but if we could let everybody know that there's a championship at Colorado Golf Club here soon, they're going to have fun. And they're going to have fun seeing -- I think it's the strongest field we have seen in the Senior championship golf in and we have seen some great golf. I mean, I know a lot of you are excited about, and Michael and I were talking about this today, of how well Fred Couples is playing. I can't believe he didn't win last week. He's had three wins and a second and then what did he finish? Maybe like fifth? Fifth in the Masters. And he did pretty well last week.
But to share with you and most of you know this, of how to purchase tickets. And to purchase tickets, to go to the seniorpga2010.com, many of you know going to King Soopers, it's fun going into King Soopers in the Rocky Mountain Region and every time I go in there you hear the commercials and the tips and stuff in the grocery store.
And my son, last night I was watching the Avalanche game and right when we scored in overtime my son -- my youngest son was at the game with some of his friends -- and my other son was up watching TV and playing Xbox and he comes running down, "Did you see it? Did you see it?" And I thought he was getting excited about the game and he got all excited because he saw the commercial on ESPN about the championship. So I thought that was pretty cute.
Also, by calling 1-800-PGA-GOLF we can get it. Remember that if you're 17 years or younger, with a paying adult, that kids can come the whole week for free. And I just can't express how important that is to bring juniors out. And what it is about juniors is just having fun. But let them see some of the best players in the world. But also let them have fun.
And Colorado Golf Club to me is a big playground out there. I saw Tim's kids out here and they live out here and they had their bikes out here today. And I thought it was so cool that they were out riding around having fun.
But what I see with these kids during this championship, they have thousands of acres to go out there and just roam around and have fun. So it's more than them watching golf, it's just about them having fun. And that's how you draw these children to golf is that one little thing that says, you know what? I can't wait to do this again. Some day maybe they're going to be playing in the championship.
Another thing that we have that we mentioned before, for our armed forces, that the same offer of, buy one, get one free, so honoring all the men and the women in the military I think is important.
So far we have all done our job of getting everybody out here, but you look at when we have had the U.S. Senior Open down at the Broadmoor and the Women's Open at Cherry Hills and the Broadmoor, you know, they had a big fan base and Colorado fans love golf and now it's our part to get everybody out here for them to support this championship.
So once again, thank you for coming, thank you to all the members for being a part of this. It's hard to give up your golf course. That course looked great today and Tony told me today no carts on the fairway. And I thought, well that was only going to be two weeks before the tournament, and he said, no, we're doing it now. So I said, all right. That came from Tony, not me.
So, once again, to Marshal, Burton, Graham Cliff and Tony, they have, so much work has gone on behind the scenes of getting this ready and all the members that have volunteered, thanks. So it's going to be fun.
JULIUS MASON: Mike McGetrick, ladies and gentlemen. You know when you talk about Major Championship golf you also have to talk about Major TV network exposure. And for that I would like to welcome live from New York, via telephone, the Executive Vice President of NBC Sports, Jon Miller. Jon, if you're there.
JON MILLER: I'm here, Julius. Thank you very much. I'm excited to hear about this golf course. I was talking to a lot of the Champions Tour players who are going to be playing in this event and I had a chance to spend some time with those players, Mark O'Meara, Freddie, Tom Watson. You're going to have a great field and we're looking forward to a great broadcast.
Obviously, as Julius said, we're very proud of our golf relationship. We're the only network that has a relationship with the USGA, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR and the LPGA, and we have been very successful in the past several years with the building of our golf brand.
The Senior PGA Championship, along with the U.S. Senior Open and the Ryder Cup, which is the final, is probably the best event in all of sports, which is put on by the PGA of America, we are proud to be a part of.
I remember watching last year's event and watching Michael Allen come down the stretch and how exciting that was. There was Larry Mize and Tom Watson or Fred Funk, it was just great television and I hope we can get the same kind of drama this year.
We have got our great crew on it and our great producer, Tommy Roy, which is really exciting for us. But I think one of the things that makes golf so exciting is how good it looks on these flat screens screen it. And once again the Senior PGA Championship is going to be coming to you in high definition from Colorado Golf Club, which I think make it's look terrific.
JULIUS MASON: Jon, if could you stay with us in case there's any questions afterward. We appreciate your time. I will unfortunately tell you, you did miss a Chamber of Commerce day out here, beautiful blue skies, 70 degrees. I'm sorry.
JON MILLER: I know. I was in the rain all day yesterday in Tampa, so I would have enjoyed that.
JULIUS MASON: Thank you very much, Jon. And now, ladies and gentlemen, all the way from Ludlow, Vermont, please welcome the 36th President of the PGA of America, Mr. Jim Remy.
JIM REMY: Thank you, Julius, and thank you Jon Miller. Jon, thank you so much for the partnership that you have had for so long with the PGA of America. We really couldn't do it without you. You make us look great in all of our championships and you get better and better every year. So thank you for that. I'm so happy to be here at Colorado Golf Club. Being from Vermont, I've kind of been feeling at home being in Colorado. We have some of the same weather. And I really didn't expect it to be so beautiful here today. When I left Vermont yesterday morning it was 40 degrees and raining. And so to have a day like today here at Colorado Golf Club was truly outstanding.
I have the greatest job in the world. I get to represent 28,000 men and women club professionals like Tim Lollar and Alan Abrams and Eddie Ainsworth and right here, Graham Cliff.
And I spend two years as President of the PGA, get to represent 28,000 men and women, who really go to work every day in this business and they teach the game and they play the game and they run the business of golf, but more importantly they promote a sport that is so good and means so much to so many people.
The PGA of America and its members are really proud to be involved at the level that we are involved at in this great sport.
Because it truly is something that you know and I know is so very, very special. And Colorado Golf Club is just a great example of just how special that is and the members who are here today. So thank you for allowing us to come here for the Senior PGA Championship.
We have some exciting things coming up. In May, which is Play Golf America month, we have two very special events right here in Denver. First will be Ladies Play Golf America Day, which will take place May 8th, right here at Colorado Golf Club. So thank you for hosting that.
And additionally, on Sunday, May 23, we are going to feature a youth clinic with honorary PGA member, Dennis Walters and a junior clinic featuring PGA members from the Colorado Section who will all volunteer their time to work with juniors. And that will start at 10 a.m. in the morning and will continue until 3:45.
I think that what we try to do at the PGA of America when we come into a community for the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship or even our Club Professional, Professional National Championship, we always try to leave something in the community. And we get so much help from our PGA sections. And in this case the local Colorado Section and the entire team that will help with that week as we go through. They will volunteer their time, not only for the junior clinic, but for the championship.
When we leave something behind we try to help charities in the community and 20 Denver area charities will benefit from the services and education that affect more than 450,000 greater Denver citizens.
And we will help those local charities as we come through this great Senior PGA Championship.
The Community Relations Programs that we bring into the community during these championships really represents a cross-section of organizations committed to a wide spectrum of worthy, of very worthy causes. From building public awareness about the treatment of disease, to care for abused children, and to providing housing for the underprivileged, when we leave a community we certainly hope to leave something behind. And Ernie and his entire team who works with the Community Relations Program does an outstanding job.
It's something that we're very passionate about and we have a high number of committed individuals at the PGA of America, whether it be through the chapters, the sections, or our national association, that tries to leave something behind. And I'm so very proud of our members of our association for doing that.
But on to the championship. My favorite event, by the way. I can say that. Maybe I can't say that. But I just love the Senior PGA Championship. I think it is the most fun of all of our events. I think we're so blessed to have the champions participate at the Senior PGA Championship level.
In less than three weeks, the State of Colorado and Colorado Golf Club will host the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf, the 71st Senior PGA Championship.
And it is an event that routinely features the strongest field in senior golf, and this year is no exception, without a doubt.
I am very happy to announce that this year's field is shaping up to be the best ever. First of all, the likes of our champion, Michael Allen, who we're so proud of Michael and everything that he has done.
Michael's victory last year at Canterbury was an incredible experience and I know that he's going to be looking for a repeat this year. But how about players like Fred Couples, and Corey Pavin, Paul Azinger, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Sandy Lyle, Nick Price, Craig Stadler, Lanny Watkins, Tom Watson, and Fuzzy Zoeller.
And how about our very own Chris Starkjohann, club professional, who finished fifth last year at Canterbury. One of 35 club professionals in the field last year, who did us all proud at the PGA of America by finishing fifth.
At this time we have 130 of the 156 players that are committed for the field and a large number of players fighting for those last 26 spots. The final field will be determined on April 23rd.
And now for those of you who are numbers freaks, I'm going to have, I got a few numbers for you, so bear with me.
Currently the field has 102 United States players, representing 30 states. And 35 of those players have earned their berth through the 2009 Senior PGA Professional National Championship.
Those 35 players started with a field of probably 3,000 players that fought for those 35 spots.
There are 28 international players representing 10 countries. There are 24 Major champions who have won cumulatively 44 Major Championships.
We have 11 Senior PGA champions, nine Masters champions, 11 U.S. Open champions, five British Open champions, seven PGA champions, nine U.S. and European Ryder Cup captains, and nine World Golf Hall of Fame members. So what a field it is going to be. Last year, you may recall, the Senior PGA Championship was played at a, at the very old and beautiful golf course, Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1984, the individual sitting next to me turned professional. Since then he's played on both tours and continues to do so. As a matter of fact, arrived late last evening from the Verizon Heritage, which is being held in Harbour Town.
It really is an honor to have Michael here. He came in late last night, he'll leave early tomorrow morning to head to the Legends of Golf. And to have him come all the way out here and spend time with us today was great.
We know him as the defending Senior PGA Champion, the 23rd person in history to win the championship in his first attempt. And someone who is a great friend to this sport. He truly is.
He has worked very hard to get to where he is today. And it all paid off last year when he won the Senior PGA Championship.
But just in case you're a little bit fuzzy about the facts and remembering some of the details of last year, we have a special video that we would like to show right now. So Michael, please take a look and we'll show a video.
JIM REMY: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Senior PGA Championship, Michael Allen.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Thank you all very much. Well, that video was, it brought back some great memories. That was, once again, I guess that brings up the point of what a study the PGA is, to give me an invitation like that. So I want to start by thanking Jim Remy and the PGA of America for making such a nice choice on invitations.
I would also like to start by saying to Mike McGetrick here, what a wonderful facility he has here and what an honor it is and how appreciative we are to have a chance to play here. I think it's going to be a wonderful venue.
I guess I would like to start off by just kind of saying that, like maybe how my change in life has happened here.
I'm sure about a year ago, maybe a little over that, one of his colleagues came to him and said, hey, you know, maybe we should give Michael Allen an invitation. And he's probably thinking in the back of his mind, you know, the guy's been a decent player, he's keeping his card on TOUR, hasn't really done that much, I don't know, what do you think?
And here's the change in life is, this morning, he was making me coffee.
So you see life is good. It's turned around a little bit, so, you know. Getting that invitation last year was a big change for me. In life there's so many things that can happen and I see my children grow up, you see your parents, one of the greatest gifts you could give to a person is opportunity. That was a great gift that they gave to me.
I was lucky, I was able to take advantage of it and it's been a wonderful thing for my life to help change our, you know, to go out on TOUR now and see many of my peers that I worked with for so many years and who say, yeah, you know, he's still around; and they actually congratulated me and I'm a part of the TOUR now for real now.
So now everybody's kind of bugging me out there, why don't you come out here to the Senior Tour. And I'm like, well, I kind of, I like playing both of them. It's been fun. And because of that I have a great opportunity to play both tours.
Just to see my name, my father was a great fan of golf, he is the one that got me into it when I was a young man. And watching all these great players, we used to go down to the Crosby or down to the U.S. Open that was around there and saw these great people.
And then to see -- and he passed away, 10, 15 years ago. And if he could see my name on this trophy, with all these great players that he grew up with, I mean that means, it means a great deal.
This is a great championship, that goes back, especially in this Champions Tour, it's the oldest one we have out here. And it's, to win this, in my first try, you know, it's a phenomenal accomplishment for me. So I'm absolutely thrilled.
I guess going forward I think it's going to be a wonderful championship out here. Crenshaw and Coore did a great job on this golf course. It's going to play great. It's going to give everybody an opportunity. The way it sets up, the strategy out here is great. The way he designs one side to really take away, you got to play away from that a little bit.
I don't think it's going to favor a lot of long hitters or short hitters, it's going to be -- the short hitters will have a hard getting out to certain areas where they can take advantage of the course, but.
Anyhow, I'm just looking forward to this. I think it's a great thing to be here and I think the course is going to be wonderful. And I'm much better at questions and answers than speeches.
JULIUS MASON: On that note we'll go to Q&A now. Ladies and gentlemen, if you do have a question, please raise your hand and we'll get you a microphone so everybody on the phone lines and everybody in here can also hear that question. We'll go ahead and start in the front row.
Q. You mentioned the invite that you got and I know last year you told the story the day that the invitation came and your wife told you that she thought you were invited to this championship and you didn't believe her. Could you just kind of recount that day and what it was like when you got that invitation.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah. I was, I had just come back from a trip and she said there was and invitation there. And I said, invitation? For what? I never had an invitation to really anything. A few good parties here and there when I was younger, but. So I opened it up and, it was, oh, that can't be, I must owe some dues or something. They must be kind of doing it in a nicer way here. And they were just going to say, we're going to suspend your membership.
So I actually called and asked who actually gave me the membership or the invitation, and so I got a hold of a guy and I said, well why did you give me one? I never had an invitation, I didn't even ask for one. And he said, well you were the highest ranked senior player on the TOUR, whatever, and we thought that you would deserve one.
And I thought he was a very smart guy.
Q. Congratulations. Nice win.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Thank you.
Q. You alluded to the fact that you're going to continue to play on the PGA TOUR. I noted that your T-32 finish yesterday at Harbour Town, you're now 99th on the Money List on the PGA TOUR. You cracked 100. Good for you.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I got to do better.
Q. Good for you. But being the defending champion for this event, you've only played two events on the Champions Tour. Is there any, do you feel any desire or obligation to play more on the Champions Tour rather than the PGA TOUR?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I mean it's, gosh, I mean Dave Stockton talked to me and said I should be playing a lot more out here.
Number one, I've worked very hard to get my position on TOUR. For so many years -- I played for six years where I had to go back to TOUR school, thank goodness I was good at that.
So after coming back and I finally got back out here, I've been keeping my card, I've been exempt and now there's certain tournaments I really enjoy playing out here. I love playing Hilton Head, I love playing Phoenix or L.A., I love Quail Hollow and TPC. So there's a lot of weeks I really enjoy still playing out there while I can.
And my dilemma really is trying to get myself exempt on the Champions Tour down the road, because I need to and I'm not right now. I am through this tournament this year.
So it's something that's been a dilemma where a lot of people have said, well you should be out there trying to play; and if I had kept playing last year I'm sure I would be exempt for this year.
For me, I am just enjoying playing golf right now. I'm playing where I really enjoy playing, the tournaments I enjoy. I don't know that many on the Champions Tour yet. So I'm trying to stick in tournaments where I can. I'm trying to play as much as I can out there. But right now, God, I'm just having a good time trying to, you know, play golf. And again, I'm playing places I think I have a good chance to win on TOUR and that part obviously that's been my mediocrity on TOUR that I've never actually won, that's given me this opportunity, after 350 tournaments, to be the first guy to ever win a TOUR event after a Champion's event.
I mean, most people don't get that opportunity, they either quit or they have won. There's not many people that stick in there like me that are bull headed.
So that being said, it's given me an opportunity to be where I'm at and have this and I'm just enjoying right now my success to be able to pick and choose and play where I like.
Q. When is your next Champions Tour event?
MICHAEL ALLEN: My next one will be the Legends this week. I'm flying back for that and then I'm going to play a tournament in Alabama after the TPC, which will be five weeks in a row for me. At 51, that's a lot.
Q. (No microphone.)
MICHAEL ALLEN: I'm going to take the week off before I come here. That's a lot of golf for me out there. That's why those Champions events, they usually only do two in a row and they give you a week or two off. So I'm bucking the system.
Q. You talked about adversity and I think it was about seven or eight years ago that you were waiting to take a club job at a premier east coast U.S. Open venue, which you didn't get; and you followed that with the best golf of your career the last, what, seven, eight years?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yes.
Q. By the way, Doug Stewart says hello.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Oh, good, good. Well, that's true. I played for about six years, seven years on TOUR and I really wasn't very good. And so I went and I worked at Winged Foot for a year and then I was interviewing with Donald Trump to try and get his job out at Bedminster. And I thought I had a pretty good chance except for, to my chagrin, I actually made it through the second stage of qualifying; and he didn't give me the job at the time, didn't tell me I was fired either, so I figured I was off to a good start.
And then I got through, I finished third in the TOUR school and for the 2002 season and kind of have been out here ever since. I kind of called him back and said, well, I won't be needing your job this year.
But it was something that you got to do. When you're trying to play golf -- and when I quit playing, I just assumed everybody wanted to hire an old golf pro. Well in the real world I found out that's really not that desirable a thing to be. So my opportunity wasn't there that much, so I've gone back and I tried to do what I could. I went through and got my Class A and with the PGA of America and tried to do what I could and now I have.
I think that whole experience of going through and trying to take care of your family, which is not an easy thing to do in the real world. And I admire everybody out there. It gives you perspective.
And for me to come out and to work out, to play golf, to go out to the range and practice, to go get the help I need, those are things I actually enjoy doing. I didn't quite understand that at one point. But now it's something that I do love doing. And I realize I'm better at that than I am trying to sell hip replacements or whatever else I could have got myself into -- I know I wasn't very good at building homes. I lost money at that even when there was a boom in Arizona.
So it's a tough world out there and it's been a great perspective for me though. Without that, I wouldn't be where I am now.
Q. Two questions, what is the course record and how did you play today?
MICHAEL ALLEN: You know, Mike never told me what the course record was. So I don't know. Thank goodness it wasn't my score today. 81?
It might still be there.
I really enjoyed it. We had a wonderful day today with this group we had. We had Jim and Mike and, well, everybody out there. And we had a great day out there. It was just a fun day.
It's going to be a beautiful championship out here to walk around this beautiful place and I can see the course, I kind of have a good idea of what I need to be able to do when I come here. And I didn't play great today.
To answer your question shortly.
Q. You talked about your desire to remain on the PGA TOUR and still be competitive there. A lot of guys get in their late 40s have one, maybe two eyes on the Champions Tour, how has that helped you be a better golfer, your desire to still stay competitive on the PGA TOUR, as opposed to jumping head first on to the Champions Tour?
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think there is a little bit of a difference. I get on the Champions Tour and it's really fun. All these guys that I used to go out there with and kind of butt heads and see in the locker room, they're a lot more laid back now. They like to have a drink with me now. And they're, you know, so they have lightened up.
And in knowing that, that's that little edge that is very important to play against the very best players in the world. I guarantee you that Tiger or Phil would not be there. And I think that's the edge that you maybe have when you keep trying to compete at the highest level in the world.
Obviously, when you see Tom Watson and Fred competing like they have in these great tournaments, some of the Majors that we have, that they still have that edge. But for me it's, I enjoy that.
I don't know if I've answered your question. I think I lost where my train of thought went. Do you want to restate that again? Get me back -- I'm a senior up here, all right?
I get to forget now and then, don't I? I'm the champion, I get to forget stuff.
Q. After you played the course today what holes really stand out that are most memorable to you today?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, God, I just, looking back up 1. We stood on that green and looking up that, I just was thinking, you know, they just laid out this beautiful ramp just running down there.
What did it remind me of? Well it was spectacular, I thought. It's just a beautiful hole laid out on the side of the mountain and it was spectacular. You get to the second hole, that green, I mean that was.
My caddie gave me another bad yardage, too, just to let you know.
It was spectacular. There aren't any certain holes, there's so many, which is one of the nice things about this golf course, I really remember most every hole I played and they all kind of stick out for a lot of different reasons. I think that's the sign of a very nice golf course. Something that's memorable.
A lot of courses they kind of, one runs into the next. This course is spread out and flows with the land and I mean it's beautiful.
That 16th hole and 17th hole sticks out. Those are just gorgeous holes, the way they can play and the different options you have there. I love a hole that flows. You don't have to hit it right to a spot. You have a little room to play and play it off hills and it's neat.
When you watch Corey Pavin play a course like this, I mean, to watch his artistry and watch him work balls off hills will be beautiful.
Q. Talk about the drivable par-4s, number 8 and number 14 and maybe how the strategy comes into play with those holes.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Yeah, I think again a wonderful design for me are these great short holes. I got up there on number 8 and hit it as hard as I could and put it on the front edge of the green and they, the guy's like, hey, that's how you should play it. Well, you know, for Graham, a wonderful young player and the Director of Golf here or the Head Professional, he showed me around great and we talked about it.
He said, well, you know that ledge back there on the left you got to keep it short. And the thing about these great short holes, you get up on the 14th hole, and we're talking about that bush over to the left, you know, and I'm going, that thing's probably eating up balls. Because you're hitting away from those right trees and I bet that bush just gobbles them up.
And then of course Graham makes me hit driver and of course where did I go? Right in that damn bush.
So when you get in the tournament golf -- it's fun today, but when you get in tournament golf, I'm sure there's holes, you don't want to take holes that are, should be easy holes, relatively speaking, and you don't want to make them hard.
So I'm sure, for the most part, depending upon where the pins are, the strategy will most likely be to lay up on most of those and give myself a good number. But it's also wonderful, like on the 14th hole, how like, I think it's 15 and 16, par-5s, wonderful holes for the tournament that can change your strategy, where if you're down a few shots you might really think about going for it on 14 to have that opportunity to really pick up some holes.
So I think that those short holes like that are wonderful out there and that's where the real strategy comes in. When you get a 408-yard hole there usually isn't always a ton of strategy. Keep it away from certain areas.
But those are wonderful holes out here. I'm glad they have at least two of them too.
Q. So to be clear, next time you see Ben Crenshaw you'll hug him, not punch him.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well, once he takes that bush out.
Q. You haven't won and then all of a sudden you win a Major. What was different for you coming in on 16, 17, and 18? What has changed in your way of thinking mentally now when you're in the hunt?
MICHAEL ALLEN: Well I think for me personally that day I was in there playing with Tom Kite, who has always been wonderful to me. Jeff Sluman, we have always -- he's a wonderful pro. He's a true professional of the game. I mean he's very good at it. And he's always kind of had my number in our career.
So when we went out and I got off to a good start, and I got off to a good start and he didn't, it kind of made me feel better. I kind of got him in a position where he was down a little bit.
And we got to the back nine, and for me really it was, you know, I kind of got to that back nine, that 10th, 11th, 12th hole, I said, you know, second is not good enough today. For whatever reason, I came up with that, I don't know, but that was really my feeling. And it was really because I knew it was kind of just me and Larry really fighting for it at that point.
And I wasn't like, you know, I'm not going to, not going to be a grouch if I don't win, but it was just my attitude. But win or lose I wasn't going to play like I was going to accept second. And that was kind of a big thing for me out there. And I'm trying to get that a little more, when I get in contention.
I think a wonderful thing about the Champions Tour, too, and I think that it's going to -- you watch Fred Couples, as you -- - and Bernhard Langer said this to me when he was leading Milwaukee a couple years ago. I go, you finished fifth at Honda, you're still so competitive out here. He said, yeah, but you know, when go out on that Champions Tour, I'm going to have a chance to win a lot, not just once in a while.
And I think in having that you, it's like Michelle Wie never played junior golf, she never learned how to win. It's an art. It's something that happens, as far as I'm concerned. Because this is all theory, because I've really only won one real tournament. But not to get off on a tangent here, but.
So, I mean, you know, it was, it's one of those things that I think that Fred is going to take, it's going to help Fred a lot, winning these tournaments and playing there and competing each week to win, instead of just competing for a check.
I think those things are great. It's a good thing.
JULIUS MASON: A final question about Colorado Golf Club.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I'm on a roll.
JULIUS MASON: Yeah, you are. You are. You're not at sea level here. You play a lot of golf events at sea level at a thousand feet. It's a four-day event, not a three-day event, it's a Major Championship, it's a little hilly. How is that going to affect some of the guys coming in here.
MICHAEL ALLEN: I think that will be a -- I think that will be a real factor. I think they may need to make sure the ambulance is right below the top of the ninth fairway.
I think that will be a very productive spot. Because these guys are seniors, they're going to have a hard time getting up a couple of those hills, I'll tell you.
I think it is. He's done a wonderful job keeping the tees close to the greens, so it is a very walkable golf course. But there are a lot of hills. And we're talking guys that are 50, 60 years old playing. So that is going to be a little bit of a challenge, I truly believe. Hopefully another check in favor of me.
But playing at altitude is always a challenge, I think. Because the way you flight your ball can really determine how far you hit it. You can hit an 8-iron up in the air and it can take off and go 170, 180 yards out of control, where if you flight it down you can control it and keep it 160 yards.
So playing at altitude always to me poses a couple of extra problems. It presents a couple extra challenges. I feel that's one of my strengths these days is flighting my ball kind of properly. So hopefully that's going to work for me in a positive way.
But it is always a challenge playing at altitude. Number one, walking is tougher, but also number two, flighting your ball and controlling the distance it goes is definitely a harder thing to do at altitude.
JULIUS MASON: Ladies and gentlemen, another hand for our defending champion, Mr. Michael Allen.
MICHAEL ALLEN: Thank you very much.