So close, yet so far for Steve Allan at Milwaukee Open
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2003 Greater Milwaukee Open | Wrap | 14 Jul 2003
In what was an amazing turnaround for Victorian Steve Allan, he has narrowly missed his first victory on the USPGA, by finishing second at the Greater Milwaukee Open.
Of course finishing second to the world’s hottest golfer at present, Kenny Perry, is nothing to get too disappointed about, but I would imagine there may well be some “what if’s” going through Allan’s mind as he looks back over the final few holes of the event.
Allan had grabbed the lead after Perry surprisingly blundered with a bogey, then a double bogey, on holes twelve and thirteen. Allan, who started the final day in second place one behind Perry, played mistake-free golf through fourteen holes and at that stage had opened up a three shot lead over Perry and Heath Slocum, who was also entering the fray after a slow start.
The key hole for Allan was to come at the par four 17th which, playing in the group ahead of Perry, he bogied. That gave Perry the break he needed to get back into the tournament and with three birdies over the last four holes, Perry was headed for his third win in four starts, not to mention the third place at the US Open thrown in. His three foot putt at the final hole for birdie sealed the deal and his cheque for $US630,000 now has him with season earnings of $US3,500,000.
For Allan, whose season to date has seen just eight appearances on the PGA Tour as a non-exempt player, this may well turn out to be one of the more significant weeks of his career. The 2002 Australian Open champion was struggling to get starts on the PGA Tour and had made only one of eight cuts and had combined earnings of just $US8,000.
The $US308,000 that he secures for his joint second place with Heath Slocum, has moved him from 232nd to 116th on the money list and now with a few events in which he is likely to get a start, including next week’s BC Open where he was 25th in 2002, he is on target for a return to the PGA Tour in 2004. A win would have done that immediately, but I’m sure the confidence gained from this effort will result in more to come. That he was able to stay in contention for so long, especially given his woeful year to date, made his performance even more impressive.
Perry now heads to the British Open with a strong feeling no doubt, that he can take on the world. He has played the British Open just once, in 1991 at Royal Birkdale where he missed the cut, but he is now a much more accomplished and complete golfer. It will be interesting to see how his current form in the US stands up to the rigours of British golf.
Grant Waite was the next best Australasian in 12th place. Like Allan, this was a much needed result for Waite who had missed five of seven cuts on the PGA Tour this season. Waite has to rely on starts where he can get them as he too is non-exempt and this was a performance out of left field somewhat, given his earlier form this year.
Of the Australasian to make the cut, Greg Chalmers was 42nd, John Senden 64th, Steve Alker 74th and Gavin Coles 75th.