Monday, 25 May 2009
Senior PGA Championship - Round One  (Getty Images)
Senior PGA Championship - Round One (Getty Images)

England’s Mark James recorded an impressive top ten finish as Michael Allen surged to victory in the US Senior PGA Championship.

James finished the week with a level par 70 to finish two over in a tie for ninth, the best performance by a European.

After receiving a special invite from The PGA of America, Allen ended a 20 year victory drought in dramatic fashion.

Allen made a birdie on the difficult 18th at Canterbury Golf Club to complete a three under par 67 at the difficult par 70 course and win the 70th US Senior PGA Championship, joining Arnold Palmer as winners of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy on Champions Tour debut.

Allen’s round took him to six under for the week, giving him a two shot winning margin.

Larry Mize was second, ahead of Bruce Fleisher and Tom Watson in third and fourth.

"It's certainly an incredible honour," said Allen. "I've always held all these guys in such honour my whole career as a young guy growing up and I'm really kind of shy to even go talk to them. To be on that trophy is a phenomenal thing - it makes it worthwhile."

Allen hadn't won in 334 starts on the US PGA Tour and was so discouraged with his game in the mid-90s, he quit playing professionally to become an assistant club professional at Winged Foot and also dabble in the home construction business.

Arizona resident Allen went into the final round with a one stroke lead and fought back well considering he trailed Mize by two shots at one stage.

“I thought the only thing Arnold and I had in common was we love wine," Allen said, smiling.

"I always thought I was good enough to win," he said. "It has been a struggle, but it's a struggle I enjoy every day."

Argentine Eduardo Romero was second best of The European Senior Tour Members, he finished in a share of 14th on three over.

Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Mark McNulty of Ireland were a shot further back.

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