Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Michael Allen: Seconds count in life after 50

October 10, 2010

POTOMAC, Md. -- When players turned 50, they used to take the fast lane to the Champions Tour. The last few years, though, some golfers have loitered on the PGA Tour for a while. Michael Allen is one of them, and it's working out pretty well for the 51-year-old.

A week ago, Allen, playing in his 14th tournament of the year on the PGA Tour, finished second in the Viking Classic. Sunday, in his 13th senior appearance of 2010, Allen closed with a 66 at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship to make it into a playoff with Mark O'Meara, who beat him on the first extra hole at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

The runner-up finishes have been lucrative for Allen, who earned $388,800 at the Viking and $237,600 at the Senior Players. That's a cool $626,400 in two weeks.

"I'm having fun going back and forth and kind of enjoying it," Allen said. "It's been fun lately."

At some point Allen will migrate completely from the PGA Tour, where is 161st on the money list this year. He has no worries about being fully exempt (in the top 30) on the Champions Tour. His playoff loss earnings moved him to 12th in 2010 senior earnings.

"I'm certainly making my way to the Champions Tour more and more," Allen said. "But I've been playing [on the PGA Tour] for 15 years or so. I know the tournaments I really enjoy out there. So I really like going and playin in those. As I played more and more here, I'll find ones I enjoy more. Eventually I'll be playing full time here. But for my last year or two, it would be great to have the best of both worlds."

-- Bill Fields