Allan falters to lose shot at title
RENO – Two strokes up with one hole to play. It was Steve Allan’s tournament to lose.
Allan double-bogeyed the 72nd hole, helping create a four-way playoff at the sixth annual Reno-Tahoe Open.
Allan was 92 yards away from the green on the par-4 429-yard finishing hole. He put his second shot into the trap and then blasted out and was still 46 feet from the pin. He chipped up to a shade over 4 feet from the flag. Sink the putt and the tournament was his. Allan rammed the tournament-winning putt more than feet past the pin. He sank the come backer for a double-bogey.
It was a tough way to end what had been a steady round for Allan, who was even for the round until the 18th.
Allan was visibly upset as he made his way to the scoring tent, and was consoled by a female friend.
Allan was in good shape on the playoff, hitting his drive just left of center. He sliced his approach shot, landing near the greenside bunker. He chipped past the hole, and then watched helplessly when Vaughn Taylor birdied the hole from 13 feet.
Allan was unavailable for comment.
Sweden’s Richard Johnson had an 18-shot turnaround over the weekend, going from an 82 on Saturday to an 8-under 64 on Sunday. It left him at 1-over-par 289.
Johnson, who played with Scott Hend of Australia, took just three hours to play the round. Tour officials said either Hend or Johnson had booked an 11:30 a.m. flight out of Reno. No wonder they played so fast .
Donnie Hammond was disqualified after Saturday’s round. He hit a shot on No. 6 that was out of bounds. Apparently, instead of getting a ruling, Hammond played the ball and finished the hole.
He will get last-place money despite the disqualification.
FIRST RTO ACE
Garrett Willis recorded the first ace in Reno-Tahoe Open history when he sank his tee shot on the 156-yard 16th hole with an 8-iron. Willis won a car for his efforts.
HAAS BLOWS UP
Billy Haas, who was in fifth place when the day started, had an awful day with a 12-over 84. Haas needed a top-10 finish to get a free invite to next week’s tournament. Had he finished first or second, he would have earned enough money to earn his playing card.
FACTS AND FIGURES
There were only three rounds below 70 – Johnson (64), Carl Pettersson (69) and Cameron Beckham (69). Eight others (besides the above named trio) broke par – McCarran (71), Spike McRoy (71), Michael Allen (71), Dennis Paulson (71), John Rollins (71), David Edwards (71), Mike Heinen (71) and Matt Gogel 70.
The toughest hole today was the par-4 8th which played to a 4.332 average. It yielded 45 birdies, 231 pars, 84 bogeys, 28 double bogeys and 10 triple bogeys. The second-toughest hole was the par-4 10th, which played to a 4.239. There were 46 birdies, 229 pars, 106 bogeys, 16 double bogeys and one triple bogey or worse.
The easiest hole was No. 4, a par-5, which played to a 4.749. There were 152 birdies, 185 pars, 48 bogeys, five double bogeys and two triple bogeys or worse. The second-easiest hole was the par-5 17th which played to a 4.764. There were 141 birdies, 212 pars, 36 bogeys, six double bogeys and one triple bogey.
Taylor becomes the eighth player in his 20s to win this year, joining Heath Slocum (Chrysler Classic), Todd Hamilton (Honda Classic, British Open), Zach Johnson (Bell South), Stephen Ames (Western Open), Mark Hens by (John Deere Classic) and Rod Pampling (The International).
The scoring average for the week was 74.352, the second-highest on the PGA Tour this year, trailing only the U.S. Open (78.727).