PHOENIX — Steven Alker started his PGA Tour Champions profession as a Monday qualifier, the objective each week proper in entrance of him: publish top-10 finishes to maintain taking part in.
Alker saved pulling it off till a win secured his full card. His path to profitable the Charles Schwab Cup is simply as clear.
Alker, the PGA Tour Champions factors chief, shot his second straight bogey-free spherical on the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Friday, a 7-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead over Padraig Harrington.
“I do know what I’ve obtained to do. The numbers are all there,” Alker mentioned. “It is form of black and white. I simply try to put myself in place to win a golf event. That is huge for me.”
Alker made seven birdies at Phoenix Nation Membership to succeed in 13 beneath by two rounds, retaining him comfortably in entrance of the one participant who can overtake him for the Schwab Cup. Harrington additionally shot 64 and was 12 beneath, however he must win and have Alker end outdoors the highest 5 to win the PGA Tour Champions season championship.
“Evidently the Schwab Cup might be a little bit of a protracted shot at this stage, however I am very a lot within the event, and that is what we’ll concentrate on now,” Harrington mentioned.
Retief Goosen shot 64 and was tied for third at 10 beneath with Brian Homosexual, who shot 65.
Bernhard Langer closed with a bogey on the reachable par-5 18th to shoot 69. He is at six again at 7 beneath in his bid to match Hale Irwin‘s report of 45 senior tour wins.
Alker needed to make a 15-foot par putt on No. 17 to protect a bogey-free 65 to tie for the lead within the opening spherical, however spent most of a balmy Friday afternoon within the desert hitting fairways and greens.
The 51-year-old opened the second spherical with consecutive birdies and added two extra to show in 4-under 32. Alker rolled in a birdie putt on the quick par-4 eleventh and one other on No. 15 after squeezing his tee shot on the par 3 between a decent pin and a bunker.
He added one other birdie on the par-4 seventeenth, however pulled his tee shot into the left tough on the par-5 18th. Alker hit his second shot over a strand of timber to the green and his third to 30 ft, however left the birdie putt quick.
A disappointing end, however Alker has some wiggle room headed into the weekend in his bid to go from PGA Tour journeyman to champion of the over-50 circuit.
“The course dried out a bit bit right this moment, performed the ball down, in order that was good and greens have been rolling implausible,” Alker mentioned. “Putted good. Whenever you shoot 7 beneath, you usually putt fairly good.”
Harrington shot a gap 66 and reeled off 4 birdies in 5 holes to start out his second spherical. The three-time main champion from Eire added two extra birdies earlier than a three-putt bogey on the fifteenth.
Harrington birdied No. 17 and reached No. 18 in two, however left a a 30-foot eagle putt quick, tapping in for birdie.
“I began in addition to I may and I nonetheless cannot get away from him. Steve is doing an important job,” Harrington mentioned. “I am attempting to thoughts my very own enterprise more often than not doing my factor on the market and I’ve obtained one other 36 holes to do this.”
Langer had two birdies and a bogey on the entrance 9, then birdied the par-4 eleventh. The 65-year-old German caught a troublesome break when his tee shot left on the par-4 twelfth left him with a clumsy stance, resulting in bogey.
Langer dropped in consecutive birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, however bogeyed No. 18 after an errant tee shot and a chunky pitch.