June 13, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly 30 years of age separates professional golfers Scott Smith and Michael Allen. But the tie that binds them is that both are alums of the University of Nevada. With both having qualified for the U.S. Open, the pair played a practice round together on Tuesday at the Olympic Club
University of Nevada men’s golf coach Jacob Wilner and assistant coach Mike Paul were on hand for the round as Smith and Allen prepare to tee it up Thursday for the major championship.
Allen will tee off at 9:01 a.m. on Thursday and at 2:46 p.m. on Friday. Smith will be in the group behind him each day, teeing off at 9:12 a.m. and 2:57 p.m., respectively. A third former Nevada player, Charlie Wi, is also in the field and will tee off at 1:07 p.m. Thursday and at 7:22 a.m. on Friday.
Smith and Allen each made it through sectional qualifying in the Bay Area last week.
Allen, of Scottsdale, Ariz., shot 67 at Lake Merced and then came in with a 70 at TPC Harding Park to finish with a 2-under 137.
Smith, the Fallon native who turned pro last year after a stellar career at Nevada, also shot 137 to tie for second. Smith shot 68 at Lake Merced and 69 at Harding Park to get in. The duo was part of seven golfers who qualified for the Open from the sectional qualifying event.
For Allen, who has six professional wins including the 2009 Senior PGA Championship, this will mark his fourth career appearance in the U.S. Open and first since 2005. His best finish was a tie for 12th in 2001.
Smith made his pro debut last year at the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf & Country Club. He was a two-time NCAA Regional participant during his career at Nevada.