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Victoria golfer has deja vu score at Adams Golf Tour

By Taylor Mitchell
April 3, 2014 at 8:01 p.m.
Updated April 2, 2014 at 11:03 p.m.

Jonathan Allen, of Victoria, watches his shot from the 18th fairway at Victoria Country Club during the Adams Pro Golf Tour's Bob White Rentals Victoria Open on Thursday. Allen finished the round with a  1-under 70.

VICTORIA OPEN LEADERS

• 1 Ryan O'Rear, -8

• T2 Dustin Morris, -5

• T2 Mark Walker, -5

• T2 Chris D. Thompson, -5

• T5 Austin Cook, -3

• T5 Kelvin Day, -3

• T5 Garrett Driver, -3

• T5 Fergal Rafferty, -3

For complete scores and pairings for Friday's third round, see B3.

Jonathan Allen's first round at the Bob White Rentals Victoria Open may have felt like a bit of deja vu.

In the 2013 version of the Adams Pro Golf Tour event, Allen shot a 9-over 80. In Wednesday's opening round at the Victoria Country Club, the former UHV golfer shot an identical 9-over 80.

If Allen was to make the tournament cut - a year after missing out on playing the final two rounds by one stroke - he'd need a bit more deja vu.

But one stroke into Thursday's second round, it didn't seem like that would be the case.

"I hit a driver into the left rough," Allen said about his opening shot on the first hole. "I think I had about 154 yards to the pin, and I had to hit it over a tree. I hit the pitching wedge to about 5 feet and made the putt for birdie."

The solid opening propelled Allen, who is an assistant golf pro at the Victoria Country Club, to a 1-under 70 round Thursday.

"It was the complete opposite of how I started yesterday (Wednesday). It was a lot better," Allen said. "It was just like, OK, now I can start going and play golf. I could just go out, play and not worry about things."

Unfortunately, Allen's second-round performance was too similar to his performance in the same round last year. He came up just three strokes short of making the cut and playing in Friday and Saturday's rounds.

"Probably not," Allen said after turning in his scorecard Thursday. "Unless there is some act of God with the weather, I doubt it.

"If we could just play from the second round on, I think I'd be all right."

One reason his score as well as several other golfers' was better in round two than the first was the wind. On Wednesday, the gusts of wind caused many golfers' shots to go on different flight paths.

"You could barely stand up at times," Allen said. "It's difficult to play in that kind of wind for anybody."

Common sense would tell you that Allen had an advantage since he spends most of his days at the Victoria Country Club.

But that's not always the case.

"Sometimes, the home course advantage can mess with you," Allen said. "Some of these pins we don't see on a day-to-day basis."

The speed of the greens was also different.

"They're a bit slower than what they normally are for us," Allen said. "You can see a certain putt and know it's supposed to go a certain amount, but then it doesn't. Sometimes that can mess with you."

Allen, who finished his collegiate golf career at UHV and has worked as an assistant club pro under Joe Mitchell Jr. for nearly a year and a half, also plays in several of the South Texas PGA events. Allen has been playing golf since he was 5 years old.

"I think I've had a golf club in my hand since I was about 3," Allen said.

Last year's Victoria Open was Allen's first ever event as a professional. He hopes it was the first step to earning a spot on the PGA tour.

"As a little kid, you grow up dreaming about playing on the PGA tour," he said. "That'd be awesome. We'll see in the future if it happens. I just have to keep going at it and playing in competitive events."

With just 10 professional events under his belt, Allen has a ways to go before he accomplishes his PGA tour dream.

But there's more to playing golf than winning tournaments and making money - although those are both big motivators.

"I like the challenge. It's not easy to do the things that golfers do on a day-to-day basis," Allen said. "It's a sport that builds integrity. It's the only sport that you can call a penalty on yourself. Nobody sees the ball move, but you see it move and call a shot on yourself."

VCC head golf pro makes cut

On the second hole of his second round, the head golf professional made a shot that had everybody in his pairing celebrating.

From 170 yards away from the pin, Mitchell launched a shot into the dark, gray skies.

Then there was the sound of a ball hitting what sounded like a sign.

In reality, the sound came from the ball hitting the flag stick and dropping into the hole for an eagle.

The eagle more than made up for a bogey on the previous hole and combined with two more birdies, pushed him to 4-over and a spot in the final two days of the tournament.

Ryan O'Rear holds the lead after two rounds at 8-under. Dustin Morris, Mark Walker and Chris D. Thompson are all tied for second at 5-under.

Play resumes Friday morning at 8 a.m. at the Victoria Country Club.

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