Allen takes 5-shot lead in Champions Tour event

LUTZ, Fla. — Michael Allen talked more about a pair of pars than an eagle as he took a commanding lead at the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am.

Allen shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a five-stroke lead after the second round of the Champions Tour event.

“The key to the thing was I made two good pars,” Allen said. “I hit a bad shot on 14. My second shot went into the water and I was able to get up and down from about 100 yards and make par. Then 17, I had to make about a 15-footer there and I was able to. So those two things were really nice.”

Allen played the front nine in even par, then birdied the par-3 11th and made a 40-foot eagle putt on the par-5 12th. He finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th to reach 9 under at TPC Tampa Bay.

“Made the longest putt I’ve made all year,” Allen said. “That was nice to make eagle there.”

Allen won the 2009 Senior PGA Championship for his lone victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Corey Pavin and Olin Browne were tied for second. Langer and Pavin shot 71, Lyle had a 69, and Brown a 66.

“We all know how solid a player Michael Allen is,” Lyle said. “He’s pretty sound, and if gets hot, there will be some good scoring.”

First-round leader Bruce Fleisher struggled, shooting a 78 to finish at 1 over. The 63-year-old Fleisher shot a 65 on Friday.

Fleisher had bogeys on Nos. 1 and 3, and a triple bogey on the par-4 fourth hole after hitting two balls into the water. He played even par on the back nine.

“When you make triples, it’s hard (to recover),” Fleisher said. “Play good tomorrow and move on.”

Tom Watson dropped out because of an injured right hand. He shot a 77 on Friday.

Watson has had an issue with the arm recently, which he said earlier in the week has translated into a weak hand.

Andy Bean and Wayne Levi also withdrew Saturday because of back injuries. Nick Price (elbow) and Tommy Armour III (shoulder) both departed Friday.

After Pavin got to 7 under with a birdie at 14, he bogeyed the next three holes.

Chien Soon Lu, one shot off the lead entering Saturday, dropped to 3 over after a 79.

Kenny Perry, coming back from a viral infection, had eight birdies en route to a 67. He was 6 under before double bogeys at 15 and 18 left him at 3 under.

“A lot of good things happened to me,” Perry said. “I had some strength. I actually felt like somebody today. I’m starting to feel better, so I’m excited about that. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and just the rest of the year.”

Allen was only player Saturday to post a bogey-free round.

“The front nine I got off to a pretty good start,” Allen said. “I thought I was playing pretty well, just the wind was blowing from different directions.”

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