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  • GOLF

    Allred's wild week continues at Honda Classic

    Ashland native enjoys birth of third child, then shoots a 75 in first round of Classic
  • It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Jason Allred, and it's not over yet.
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  • It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Jason Allred, and it's not over yet.
    The professional golfer from Ashland enjoyed the birth of his third child early this week, missed a flight because of it, flew the next day from Arizona to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for The Honda Classic, got in limited practice, then teed it up for real Thursday.
    Whew!
    Allred's opening round in the Honda was derailed somewhat by a late triple bogey, leaving him near the bottom of the leaderboard with a 5-over-par 75. He's tied for 136th place, ahead of only five players.
    Allred tees off this morning at 5:25 PST with playing partners Jim Renner and Chesson Hadley. They'll start on the No. 1 hole.
    Allred, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., qualified for the Honda by, first, Monday qualifying, then placing third in the Northern Trust Open nearly two weeks ago. However, there was uncertainty about whether he'd enter the Honda because his wife, Kimberly, was due to give birth.
    The baby girl arrived early Monday afternoon, about a half hour before Allred was to catch a plane for Florida.
    He skipped the flight, spent the night at the hospital with Mom and baby — the girl didn't have a name at the time — then was on another flight Tuesday.
    Regarding the name, Allred said in a story on The Golf Channel website that none of his kids came into the world with names.
    "With all three of our kids, for whatever reason, we've had it narrowed down to two (names)," he said, "but we like hanging out with them at the hospital for a day or two and then deciding."
    They decided soon after he arrived here that the 6-pound, 12-ounce, 19 1/2-inch healthy bundle of joy would be named Lucy Hope.
    About her middle name, Jason said in a story on Golfweek's website, "Seems appropriate at a time like this, when we have so much to be thankful for."
    Prior to the birth, Kimberly encouraged Jason to play in the Honda.
    Her words, according to him: "Maybe you can care for our family best by going to play. Play your heart out and take care of us that way."
    The timing worked out well.
    "Just looking at my wife and daughter "¦ even though we had made the decision that I was probably going to come anyway with the chance of missing it [the arrival], I mean, I can't even tell you the joy and gratitude I had that I got to be there for that," he said.
    When Allred got to Florida late Tuesday afternoon, he got in some practice holes at PGA National — a course he'd never played — and birdied his first hole, No. 10.
    A pro-am on Wednesday limited the course's availability the day before the tourney was to begin.
    Then came Thursday and the first round.
    Allred started on the 10th hole in the next-to-last group with Renner and Hadley and bogeyed his first hole. A tee shot into the rough on the par 4 caused him to reach the green in three.
    He then made five pars before a double bogey on No. 16, where he found water with his approach.
    Next came six pars, mixed with a birdie at the par-5 No. 3, where he got up and down from greenside rough.
    It was on his 15th hole, the par-4 sixth, where trouble lurked again. The toughest hole on the course features water all the way up the left side, and Allred stayed right with his first two shots, the second finding a greenside bunker. His third shot sailed over the green and into water, however, resulting in a 7.
    He parred the final three holes.
    Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com
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