Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Amateur Winner Blake Allen Primed for Promising First Year at Washburn

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Amateur Winner Blake Allen Primed for Promising First Year at Washburn

Article excerpt

Blake Allen had never experienced a stretch of golf like last Sunday's Kansas Amateur final and isn't sure he'll ever be able to replicate it.

But if the Washburn signee can simply play anywhere near that level next season, Allen should make an immediate impact for the Ichabods as a freshman.

The Shawnee Mission Northwest product was nearly flawless in the last day of the Kansas Am, posting an 8 and 7 victory over Taylor Larsen at Southwind Golf Course in Garden City.

"I don't know how to describe being in the zone," Allen said. "I had been told about it. People had told me, 'Oh, you'll know when you're in the zone.' I was definitely in the zone that day for that 29 holes I played."

Calling it "the best long stretch of golf I've ever played in my life," Allen recorded 11 birdies, 18 pars and no bogeys to run away from Larsen in 29 holes of the 36-hole final.

"It was just 100-percent focus," he said. "It was almost as if I didn't have to try. Some rounds you'll go out there and will be hitting shots, and you'll be like, 'C'mon, Blake. You have to focus a little more.' In this round, it just seemed easy. I knew the shot I needed to hit, I focused hard on hitting that shot and I executed it.

"It was something I hope I can do again, because it was an amazing feeling, but I don't know. It'll be a tough thing to repeat."

Allen won nail-biters in the round of 16, quarterfinals and semifinals to advance to the final, edging future Washburn teammate Brooks Brown in 20 holes before earning 1-up victories over Alex Graf and Spencer Christian to meet Garden City's Larsen for the title.

Allen held a 2-up lead on Larsen after 18 holes before opening the afternoon 18 with four straight birdies to pull away.

The win capped off a dream summer for Allen, who became the third player to sweep the Kansas Am and Kansas Junior Am titles in the same year.

"I've been playing well in a lot of high school tournaments against other high school players," Allen said. "But then to come out this summer and play well in the junior match play, which I expected, and come out in the Kansas Am and to beat some current college players and some past some college players, it just kind of proves to myself that, 'Hey, you're good enough to compete with anybody out there. …

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