US Open surprise starter Aussie Allan
It’s the US Open’s first welfare story, the Aussie fighter with his son carrying his bag and tasked with filling the giant boots of deposed former world No.1 Jason Day.
As an injured and out of shape Day misses a major championship for the first time in nearly a decade after breaking out of the top 100, fellow veteran Steve Allan has emerged from the obscurity of golf to earn his unlikely start time at Torrey Pines. .
A quarter of a century after his best season ever, the world No. 1168 finds himself playing his first major tournament since missing the cut at the 2010 US Open after getting his start in section qualifying Monday.
“Yeah, really, really excited,” Allan said.
“I’m taking advantage of it. My son (Liam) is taking care of me.
“The rest of the family are going to be here. My youngest son (Zac) is 10 years old, so he’s never seen me play in a big tournament like this before.”
It’s certainly a story for golf romantics, but we still can’t call it a rag-to-riches story because, well, Allan is hardly rich.
Making ends meet on minor tours for more than a decade, the 47-year-old has racked up just US $ 12,338 (A $ 16,055) in earnings on the PGA Tour since 2012 – up from 38.5 million of US dollars ($ 50 A. 1m) Day has accumulated during the same period only cash prizes.
No wonder Allan did not take the lead, making the cup halfway through the companion’s first goal.
“I just want to try to play well. Obviously it’s pretty basic, but if you play well the rest is sorted out on its own,” he said after a training session with the most famous compatriot Mark Leishman. Tuesday.
“This course is long and difficult there, so it will be interesting,
“Keeping the ball in the short grass is going to really help because if you end up in the rough you have a lot of problems.”
Despite his modest rank and modest CV, Allan is anything but a novice.
He won the 2002 Australian Open, lost a Reno-Tahoe Open qualifier on the US PGA Tour two years later and sent three-time major champion Padraig Harrington to second place by winning the 1996 German Open in the biggest victory of his career at Date.
But he’s definitely the underdog among Australia’s contingent of seven in San Diego this week.
Former winner and double finalist around Torrey Pines, Leishman and Cameron Smith, who teamed up with Leishman to win this year’s Zurich Classic PGA team event, lead the Australian challenge with the former world No.1 Adam Scott.
Matt Jones, Wade Ormsby and Brad Kennedy round out the Australians on the pitch.
Leishman and Smith both finished in the top 10 at the Masters before the Australian big guns suffered a disappointing PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island.
Day shared 44th, Smith was tied for 59th while Leishman and Scott missed the cut.
Smith and Leishman bounce Australians at Torrey Pines, where gum trees and the Pacific Ocean make them feel right at home.
“There are probably four or five of us playing some really good golf right now,” Smith said.
“Hopefully for Australia we can finally have one at home.”