PHOENIX — Padraig Harrington spent the afternoon pouring in birdie putts and shopping for drinks. He’ll want a mixture of fortunes to overhaul Steven Alker for the Charles Schwab Cup.
Harrington shot a 9-under 62 to take a five-shot lead over Alker within the third spherical of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Saturday.
The 2 will probably be paired once more for Sunday’s last spherical, with Harrington needing a victory and Alker outdoors the highest 5 to win the season-long Schwab Cup.
“I’ve all the time been a greater chaser than chief,” Harrington stated. “We’ll go and see tomorrow what occurs. I’ve actually given myself just a few choices.”
Harrington had 4 straight birdies on the again 9 to succeed in 21 beneath within the PGA Tour Champions finale. The run put him in such a very good temper he purchased drinks for followers who had been giving him a tough time on the No. 15 tee at Phoenix Nation Membership.
The three-time PGA Tour main winner closed his bogey-free spherical with a two-putt birdie on No. 18. Alker struggled to get putts to fall and shot 68, however had his third straight bogey-free spherical to succeed in 16 beneath, giving him some cushion within the race for the Schwab Cup.
“It is there to take,” Alker stated. “I’ve obtained quite a lot of chasing to do now to win the event, however yeah, get a very good night time’s sleep and we’ll be all proper.”
Brian Homosexual shot 66 to succeed in 15 beneath. Alex Cejka is at 14 beneath after a 63, and Retief Goosen shot 68 to hit 13 beneath.
Bernhard Langer‘s bid to match Hale Irwin‘s profession PGA Tour Champions document of 45 wins is out of attain after a 70. He is 8 beneath.
Harrington obtained his spherical off to a unbelievable begin, rolling in an eagle putt on the par-5 opening gap. The 51-year-old added two birdies to show in 4-under 32 and reeled off 4 straight birdies beginning on No. 11.
Harrington almost drove it onto the road parallel to the par-4 14th, touchdown beneath a tree subsequent to the chain-link fence. He slipped his method shot beneath a limb and landed it for a tap-in birdie, incomes kudos from a bicyclist who had stopped to look at via the fence.
“Nice shot, Paddy!” he stated. “Now knock it in.”
Harrington did to succeed in 20 beneath.
On the following tee, Harrington had a tough time getting followers within the grandstand to maneuver their shadows, repeatedly asking them to slip over. He hit his tee shot to twenty toes, elicited laughs with a remark after which opened his pockets, doling out $50 to the followers.
Harrington missed the putt on the par-3 fifteenth, however two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th for his lowest spherical of the season.
“I have been taking part in fairly strong all over and simply ready for a very good day like at this time,” he stated.
Alker performed the identical regular recreation that obtained him to 12 beneath via two rounds, however did not have the identical magic with the putter.
He had a birdie on No. 3 and one other on the par-4 twelfth after almost holing his method shot. Alker chipped it up shut after hitting it via the inexperienced on No. 18 and dropped within the birdie that can maintain him within the last group with Harrington for Sunday’s last spherical.
The remainder of the afternoon was a sequence of close to misses and a nifty up-and-down for par after hitting his second shot via the par-4 seventeenth.
“Padraig kicked my [backside] at this time, that is principally what occurred,” Alker stated. “He had a pleasant spherical, simply sort of pulled away on the again 9.”
Alker continues to be in charge of the Schwab Cup. He simply must get just a few extra putts to fall to complete off his rise from PGA Tour journeyman to champion of the over-50 circuit.