Alker shoots 65, shares lead at Schwab Cup Championship

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PHOENIX Steven AlkerMatching Padraig HarringtonHe played steady golf and made birdies in the early rounds, giving him a 1-shot edge over the only player who can surpass him for Charles Schwab Cup.

The Kiwi couldnt ask for a better start.

Alker shot a 6-under 65 to share the lead in the first round of the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Alker stated that he felt good today and hit some good shots. He also got a few putsts early. I felt Padraig, and I kinda felt like we were sharing a little bit of our knowledge and making some birdies earlier. Im pleased. Three more to go.

Alker must finish fifth to win Charles Schwab Cup. He is in a good position after posting six birdies on Phoenix Country Club.

The New Zealand-born 51-year-old was tied with John Huston Stephen AmesIn his quest to become a champion,

Bernhard LangerAs he tries and match Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions record, which is 45 wins, he shot 66. Harrington shot 66. However, he must win and Alker finish outside of the top five to win this seasons title.

Harrington stated, Im in an excellent place in the tournament. Im in an awful place in the Schwab Cup. Its just the way it is.

Alker wasnt able to sustain sustained success on PGA Tour, but he managed to get onto the PGA Tour Champions with a string top-10 finishes. He started as a Monday qualifier at August 2021s Boeing Classic. He won five times this year on the over-50 tour, has earned more that $3.3 million, and leads Harrington in the Schwab Cub standings by more than 600,000.

Alker got up and down to birdie the par-5 first hole. He added another birdie at No. 4 and reached 3 under by getting up and down from the par-4 fifth. He also added a 15 foot birdie on No. He also hit the par-3 13th fairway for another.

Alkers shot from the 354-yard 16th green hit a sprinkler head and his ball fell to 40 feet short of it. He missed his ball by 2 feet, and tried to replace it. Harrington protested, and a rules official was summoned.

Alker stated that he thought the cut was perfect. It was like a dimple that had separated from the ball.

Alker saved par by making the putt and saving par with a 15-foot putt on par-4 17th. Alker missed a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th and couldnt take advantage.

Langer, 65, beat his age by winning the TimberTech Championship last week. He also broke his own record of being the oldest player to win on PGA Tour Champions.

Langer finished the round with three consecutive birdies for a 4-under 32 on nine holes. Langer also hit it to 3 feet on the par-4 12th for another birdie. The German, who is an age-defying golfer, offset a bogey at No. 13 with a birdie at No. 13.

Harrington matched Alkers birdie on No. 1 and added another on par-3 second before dropping a shot to No. 3. Harrington drove his drive to the front on the short par-4 fifth. He then two-putted for birdie and turned in 2-under 34.

The 51-year-old Irishman scored consecutive birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 were followed by another at the 13th. He hit his second shot at the par-5 18th, but couldn’t get up and down to make birdie.

Harrington stated, I was comfortable enough playing the game. Just keep going for 54 holes, and lets see how it goes.


AP golf: and–Sports

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