Allen shoots 69, hangs onto Allianz lead

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Michael Allen was prouder of the 3-under 69 he shot Saturday than his record-tying 60 the day before.

A day after making the game look so easy when he was the ninth player to shoot 60 on the Champions Tour, Allen fought his swing from the opening drive at Broken Sound.

He fell out of the lead after playing his first 10 holes in 1 over, but birdied four of his last eight holes to take a one-stroke lead over Scott Dunlap and Chien Soon Lu in the Allianz Championship.

“This is one of those rounds I really feel good about,” said Allen, who is at 15-under 129 entering the final round. ” ”I knew if I hung in there, eventually the birdies would start coming.”

Allen has a more difficult task to win for the sixth time on the 50-and-over tour. With calm, warm condition on The Old Course, the field combined for a scoring average of 69.67, the lowest in the eight-year history of the event.

Allen had only one player — Dunlap — within four shots of his lead after the first round. Now, there are seven players within four shots entering Sunday’s final round.

“All I did was make it a good tournament,” Allen said, smiling. “At least I know what I have to do now — be aggressive from the start.”

Lu shot his second straight 65, and Dunlap followed his opening 63 with a 67. Neither Allen nor Dunlap won on the PGA Tour, but Dunlap is playing in just his second Champions Tour event.

“I didn’t use up a lot of great golf on the PGA Tour,” said Dunlap, whose best showing in 204 career PGA Tour starts was a third-place finish. “It would be nice to think that door (of winning) hasn’t closed.”

Duffy Waldorf was fourth at 13 under after a 63. He played the front nine in 7-under 29.

Jay Haas, winless in 123 starts in Florida, was another stroke back along with Tom Lehman. Haas had a 64, and Lehman shot 67. NBC announcer Gary Koch was 11 under after a 66.

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