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Steady Allred regains PGA Tour card

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — Ashland native Jason Allred held steady and true through his sixth and final round of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament on Monday, making par on his final seven holes to finish fifth overall and secure a PGA Tour card for the 2008 season.

Allred's even-par final round of 72 on the Crooked Cat Course at Orange County National Golf Center included two birdies and two bogeys, but none of the heartbreak he had to endure in qualifying rounds the previous two years.

His 108-hole score of 21-under 411 placed him seven shots above the cut line for fully exempt PGA status (418), marking the second time in his young career Allred has qualified for the top tour.

Also returning to the PGA Tour will be medalist Frank Lickliter II, who ran away from the field this week. Lickliter finished with a 29-under 403 total that proved to be the second lowest 108-hole total to par at Q-school since the Tour began keeping track of such statistics.

Brett Rumford (25-under 407), Chris Stroud (23-under 409) and Jin Park (22-under 410) were the only others who finished better than Allred, who tied for 13th three years ago to earn his first shot at the PGA Tour in 2005.

The 1998 Ashland High product also was among only nine players who successfully negotiated all three qualifying stages to earn PGA Tour cards for the coming season. Allred, 27, had an amazing six eagles in the grueling six-day final stage and only one double bogey.

All golfers who finished in a tie for 25th or better at Q-school earned their 2008 PGA Tour cards.

That Allred even advanced to Q-school was a sign of his fortitude. He recovered from a 6-over-par 78 in the opening round of a second-stage tournament to finish at 3-under 285 — one stroke above the cut line to advance to the final stage.

Given the chance to move on, Allred never looked back during his scintillating six days in Florida.