Allred leads fellow U.S. Junior champs at Pebble
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – There are four former U.S. Junior Amateur champions in this U.S. Open – Tiger Woods, David Duval, Hunter Mahan and ... Jason Allred. Allred may be the least-known of the quartet, but posted the best score Thursday, shooting a 1-over 72 that put him in a tie for 14th. Allred beat Masters champ Trevor Immelman in the 1997 U.S. Junior final.
“It was just a really fun day,” Allred said. “We got to play at sunset, and finish on Nos. 7, 8 an 9. I was trying my best to focus on each shot, but also try to soak in that I’m getting to live a dream.”
Allred, a former PGA Tour player, has no status this year. He’s played mini-tours, posting a victory on the Arizona-based Gateway Tour, and Monday qualified for two Nationwide Tour events. He missed the cut both times.
Allred, 30, wore a white U.S. Open hat that he bought for $34 in the merchandise tent. His caddie, Casey Boyns, is carrying a stand bag bearing the logo of Allred’s home course, Silverleaf Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“It is different to not really have any of the endorsements,” Allred said, “but at the same time, we’re doing this because we love it again, and it feels good to do it.”
The 2002 Pepperdine grad played the PGA Tour in 2005 and 2008, but made just 15 of 52 cuts; he’s played zero PGA Tour and three Nationwide Tour events since.
He said he put too much pressure on himself to live up to the expectations that come with being a Junior champ. Allred spoke as he held his 1-year-old daughter, Annie. He said her birth helped him improve his perspective, which has had benefits for his golf game.
Allred’s wife, Kimberly, is due to give birth to the couple’s second child in December.
“I’ve been playing as well as I ever have, so it’s kind of funny to not have a place to play,” Allred said. “I think I’m just finally letting go and realizing that all I can do is my best. I’ve just been really into results the past few years, and it’s been kind of a killer.”
Thursday’s result should make him proud.