OMAHA, Neb. —
“You kind of look at the way things have gone so far,” Allen said. “I’ve chipped in a couple times. I’ve played some bad shots and kind of gotten away without killing myself. There’s too far to go, though. Hopefully, in the end, it’s predestined, but I’ve got a long way to go. Only halfway there.”
Allen never won in 394 starts on the regular tour, but he has four victories since joining the Champions Tour four years ago, including the 2009 Senior PGA Championship.
He had top-10 finishes in the U.S. Senior Open in 2010-11 and tied for 33rd last year. His game has been on the upswing lately. He won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in March and came to Omaha with three top-10 finishes in his last four events.
It looked as if Allen and Mediate would match birdies early. Mediate had three in four holes to start the afternoon and took a brief lead.
But Allen, playing in the group behind him, went on a tear. He hit every green in regulation and made the turn with a 3-shot lead.
Allen’s strength is his irons, and he was hitting them pure on the front nine, seemingly oblivious to the southerly winds gusting to 25 mph and the course’s elevation changes.