fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

DeBoer, Allred team up at Hope

Even though neither of them won the golf tournament, it was a win-win proposition when Rogue Valley business magnate Sid DeBoer and Ashland native Jason Allred were paired Saturday in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

DeBoer won for the experience.

Allred won for that, plus a new vehicle, courtesy of DeBoer, who is chairman and chief executive officer of Lithia Motors.

DeBoer has participated for more than a decade in the unique PGA event, which groups professionals and amateurs in individual and team competition.

Playing at Silver Rock — one of four courses used for the event — Allred broke par for the second straight round with a 1-under 71, but he missed the cut with a combined score of 3 under. The number to make it into today's final round, when only the pros compete, was 7 under.

DeBoer's team didn't place, either, but it finished in the top third of the field.

"I'm kind of on a high right now," he said by phone, shortly after leaving the course. "It was a wonderful day today."

DeBoer is a member of Rogue Valley Country Club and had hit balls on the practice range alongside Allred, who grew up playing RVCC. But DeBoer hadn't played a round with him.

"He's such a wonderful human being and such a pleasure to play with," said DeBoer. "He never gets upset with himself."

At the end of the round, DeBoer offered a new vehicle to Allred as a sponsorship gesture, possibly a Toyota Sequoia, although details haven't been worked out.

"He has some old car he's been driving around in for the last 10 years," laughed DeBoer. "It hardly runs. I thought it would be fun to be a part of the adventure he's on. No one else from Southern Oregon is playing on the PGA Tour."

DeBoer, who also played this week with Olin Browne, Mark Calcavecchia and Brett Wetterich, came away impressed with the 27-year-old Allred's game.

"He can play with any of them," said DeBoer. "All he had to do was get more putts to drop each day and he would have been right in the hunt. And that's the difference. He hits it 320, 340 yards and plays his iron shots pretty darn well. He'll be a force. It's really a mind game on the tour, and that's what determines success more than anything else. You have to trust those putts and knock them in."

Allred judged the speed of his putts wonderfully all day, said DeBoer, but kept missing the hole by the slimmest of margins.

DeBoer saw all sides of the putting picture. Wetterich had it going in his third round and shot 67. On the first day, Browne "missed 10 of them within an inch of the hole," said DeBoer.

In between, Calcavecchia putted with his 5-wood after busting his putter over his knee.

"He was upset most of the time," said DeBoer, acknowledging he understands how quickly frustration can set in with the pros.

"I don't really have the personality for golf," he admitted, "because I'm such a perfectionist."

To avoid his own fits of frustration, DeBoer focused on what he calls the three F's: fun, friends and flora.

"Those are the only three F's I can use," he chuckled.

The teams were drawn randomly, and each had an A, B and C player. DeBoer was the C, with the maximum allowable handicap of 18.

The pros, too, were drawn randomly — supposedly. DeBoer put in a request to play with Allred but never did find out if it was honored or if the pairing was luck-of-the-draw.

He did allow that his popularity with tournament organizers climbed following an auction a few years back. DeBoer bid on and won a painting of Bob Hope and Arnold Palmer coming up the 18th fairway at PGA West. He figured its worth to be about $15,000 but paid more than five times that amount.

"I made a great contribution to the Eisenhower Hospital," said DeBoer, "and they've always remembered me."

The best score on each hole, either net for the amateurs or gross for the pros, was used for the team competition.

Allred had three birdies and two bogeys. One of the bogeys occurred when his tee shot buried into the bank of a waste area. He had to get a ruling from an official, lift the ball to identify it as his own, "then had to put it right back in the same hole," said DeBoer. "But he chopped it out of there and got it on."

It led to a 6 on the par-5 12th hole.

DeBoer made a couple of net eagles on Saturday to help his team get to 45 under, he said, which was nine shots off the winning team.

But he considered the day a success for having played with Allred.

"We can all be proud of Jason," said DeBoer. "He's representing our valley very well. He's a great young man, and hopefully, he'll have a lot of wins out there some day."

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail ttrower@mailtribune.com