PHOENIX Steven AlkerHis PGA Tour Champions career began as a Monday qualifier. He had one goal in mind every week: to post top-10 finishes to continue playing.
Alker persevered until he was awarded his full card. It is clear that Alker was on the right path to winning Charles Schwab Cup.
Alker, the PGA Tour Champions point leader, shot his second straight bogeyless round at Fridays Charles Schwab Cup Championship. It was a 7-under 64 that gave Alker a one-shot advantage over the competition. Padraig Harrington.
I know exactly what I need to do. Alker stated, The numbers are all there. Its kinda black and white. I just try to put myself in a position where I can win a tournament. Thats huge for me.
Alker shot seven birdies at Phoenix Country Club to get to 13 under in two rounds. He is now comfortably ahead of the only player who can surpass him for the Schwab Cup. Harrington shot 64, and was 12 under. However, Alker must win and Alker must finish outside the top five in order to win the PGA Tour Champions season championship.
Harrington stated, It seems like the Schwab Cup could prove to be a bit of an uphill battle at this stage, however, Im very much involved in the tournament and thats exactly what were going focus on now.
Alker had 15-foot par putt to secure the lead on No. 17 to maintain a bogey free 65 to tie for lead in the first round. Alker spent most Friday afternoon in the desert, hitting fairways and greens.
The 51-year old opened the second round with consecutive birdies. He added two more to make it 4-under 32. Alker scored a birdie putt at the par-4 11th, and another at No. 15 after he squeezed his tee shot onto the par 3 between a pin and a bunker.
He added another birdie on 17th par 4, but his tee shot was pushed into the left rough 18th par 5. Alker missed his second shot to the fairway, his third to 30 yards, but he missed the birdie putt.
Alker finished in a disappointing fashion, but he still has the chance to be the champion of the over-50 circuit on the PGA Tour.
Alker said, The course dried out slightly today, played down the ball, so that was good, and greens were rolling fantastic. Putted nice. You putt well when you shoot 7 under.
Harrington shot an opening round 66 and then made four birdies in five holes to begin his second round. The three-time major champion of Ireland added two more birdies to his total before a three-putt par bogey on hole 15.
Harrington birdied No. 17 and reached No. 18 in two, but left a 30-foot eagle putt short and tapped in for birdie.
I started as well I could and I still cannot get away from him. Harrington stated that Steve is doing an excellent job. Im trying not to be distracted by other people, but I have 36 more holes to fill.
Langer had two birdies plus a bogey on nine. Langer then birdied par-4 11. The German 65 year-old had a difficult time when his tee shot was left on the par-4 12, leaving him with an awkward stance that led to bogey.
Langer made consecutive birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, but Langer bogeyed No. 18 after an errant shot from the tee and a chunky pitch.