BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Michael Allen became the first wire-to-wire winner of the Allianz Championship on Sunday, but it took some good shots on the 18th hole -- three different times -- for him to pull out the victory.
Allen, 55, defeated Duffy Waldorf on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Old Course at Broken Sound for his sixth career Champions Tour title after both completed regulation with tournament-record 54-hole totals of 18-under-par 199.
"I kind of thought I would win a little easier shooting 60," said Allen, who had that tournament- and course-record 12-under-par round on Friday. "I don't know what I've got to do to win a goddarn golf tournament. But that's the way this Tour is; everybody keeps coming at you, all those good players, so if you come out on top it's really nice."
Allen, of Scottsdale, Ariz., started the day at 15 under and with a one-shot lead over Scott Dunlap and Chien Soon Lu. He got to 18 under twice, the second time after making a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 14.
But he bogeyed 16 when he failed to get up and down. At 17, his 3-foot birdie putt spun out of the cup. He two-putted for birdie on 18 to shoot 69 and tie Waldorf, who, playing in the group behind Allen, had four birdies on the back nine and shot 67. Lu, of Taiwan, shot 69 to finish third and win $115,200.
"I was very happy to get in that position, I really struggled early in the round," said Waldorf, 51, of Northridge, Calif., who won $140,800. "I felt like I lost three shots on the front side just from my driving. But I just hung in there. I got to 1 under par on the front. No. 10 I hit another bad drive. After No.10 though I played really well, I just turned it around, I felt happy that I was able to get back in the tournament cause I felt like after 10 holes I was struggling with my game.
"Overall I'm very pleased with the way I played the last seven holes. I got right back in it and had a chance to win with the playoff."
The players returned to the 18th tee for the playoff and Allen, hitting first, drove into some trees on the left. Waldorf was just in the left rough.
Allen took his time lining up the shot, then hit a 6-iron 188 yards through the trees onto the green, 25 feet right of the pin.
"I knew I couldn't hit it close but I could hit it where I did," Allen said. "You don't have to try to win it on the first hole. Make him make eagle to beat you.
"As long as I hit it solid I really didn't think it was a difficult shot. I was glad I got it as close as I did."
Waldorf then hit what he thought was a perfect 6-iron from 186 yards.
"I hit the shot right at the pin and it landed on the green out of the rough and it backed up. It was very surprising," he said.
Putting first, Allen thought he made it, but just missed. Then Waldorf barely missed his 18-footer.
"I had a tricky putt, it seemed like I had three different grains," Waldorf said. "I really didn't get the read right. I played a straight putt and it broke off to the right."
They went back to the 18th tee and Allen drove into the right rough and Waldorf drove in the fairway.
"That was a little bit easier, the only thing there was it was where all the pine straw was and it was just on top of that," said Allen, who put that 6-iron 35 feet from the pin. "I really hit a nice shot there."
Waldorf had 190 to the pin, hit a 6-iron again but cut it a little bit and the ball landed in a front bunker.
"It was five yards short from being really good, too," he said. "I hit an OK bunker shot."
After Allen two-putted for birdie, Waldorf stepped up to what he said was a straight putt and pushed the 7-footer to give Allen a meaningful victory.
"I didn't want to be the guy who shot the lowest score in Champions Tour history and didn't win the tournament," said Allen, who won $240,000.
Allen was the ninth Champions Tour player to shoot 60 and the first to do so on a par-72 course. Four players have now shot 60s in the first round and all four have gone on to win.
"It's very rare that you get to do something that's kind of unique out here," Allen said. "You shoot 60, fantastic, great. ... I've never done many things that were that great out here, to me it was important. I didn't want to give this one up.
"For me, personally, it was just important to win and make sure I can close these things out. It was important to me and my own well-being to win."
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