Ford Senior Players
In a matter of minutes, Allen Doyle went from self-described dead duck in a divot to champion of the Ford Senior Players Championship. Then when asked how it felt, he didn't offer up words. He simply held a Budweiser on high and smiled. Doyle is a man of few words, and when he rescued a birdie from a divot with a solid approach shot and dramatic 35-foot putt to force a playoff, and then won the playoff over Doug Tewell, he had his second major championship in a banner four-year career on the Senior PGA Tour.
Raise that Budweiser again. This is a guy whose job before deciding to turn pro at the age of 47 in 1995 was owner/operator of Doyle's Golf Center in LaGrange, Ga. Doyle reacted as you might expect a former worker in a rug factory, or driving range owner/operator, or even a Norwich University Hall of Fame hockey player who claims he developed his rather odd but effective swing practicing golf in a basement with a low ceiling.
"This won't change me," said the Rhode Island native who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Georgia where he is in that state's golf Hall of Fame because of a stellar amateur career. "I'm still the same guy. I'm just glad to be here playing golf for living. It's a great job. "It still blows my mind each day. This is a golf course, my office. Am I 1-up on everybody or what?"
He finished 1-up on Tewell, of course, after they tied at 15-under-par 273 through 72 holes at the TPC of Michigan course in Dearborn. Tewell hit his tee shot into a hazard left of the 18th hole to start a sudden death playoff, and it was sudden death for him and a and sixth win overall on the Senior circuit for Doyle. "Thank God for that putt on 18," Doyle said. "You know, I was up most of the day, and then I got down. But you know, I just figured I was still in there fighting and scrapping, and that if I could make a few more birdies, you never know. That's exactly what happened." Don't expect it to change him. The swing is locked in, and so is the personality.
"We upgraded houses, that's about it," said the father of two, including Michelle, who caddies for him. His wife Kate said he is the same guy, just richer. "And he likes his job better," she said and laughed.
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