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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Alcar emerges from the rain for 4-shot win on Champions Tour

THE WOODLANDS, Texas ( Associated Press) — Steven Elker returned from a two-hour rain delay, playing a six-hole section in a six-under par, overtaking Steve Stryker, running with 6-under 66 and winning the PGA Tour. Insperity Invitational on Sunday for their second win this year over Champions.

Alker had to make a couple of difficult innings at The Woodlands to close the front nine and stay one shot ahead of Stricker, playing for the first time in six months.

Elker birdied three straight holes starting at number 11, and then he effectively took the tournament away by rolling in an eagle put on the par-5 15th to take a four-shot lead.

The striker and Brandt Jobe each scored 70 runs and finished second four shots behind. Alker finished at 18-under 198.

Stricker was hospitalized late last year after his liver count fell and his white blood cell count soared. She lost 25 pounds and was concerned about her strength and endurance in her first competition since October 10.

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The captain who won the Ryder Cup did well. He just couldn’t hang out with Alakar.

“I felt that my game was getting a little better every day,” said the striker.

Alker won the Rapiscan Systems Classic in Mississippi, and was set to make it two straight victories until it was knocked over water and lost in a playoff outside Dallas. Now they have to face defeat in two playoffs with two wins.

The victory enabled them to move to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings with $345,000 to win. Not bad for a Kiwi who just nine months ago wasn’t at all on the circuit aged 50 and over.

They qualified for the Boeing Classic and remained in the top 10 to enter the following week, eventually winning and reaching the season finale.

With 17 starts in the PGA Tour Champions, Alker has 10 spots in the top five.

“It’s been a fun ride,” Alker said. “I’m just happy to be here. Everything around is in place. I’m enjoying my game. Everything’s so much fun.”

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The rain delay helped in another way. Alker said he was watching TV coverage and noticed that his swing was a bit off. He returned and tried to stay more on top of the ball, and he was practically flawless the rest of the way.

Jobe went into second place alone with a birdie on the par-3 16th, only to miss a short par put on the next hole and fail to convert a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

The striker was feeling good about his game but was unsure whether he would play in Atlanta next week or take a week off before the first five majors at the PGA Tour Champions.

“If you had seen me where I was a month ago and where I am today, that makes me happy because I have come a long way in just one month,” the striker said. “If I can continue to grow strong and progress next month, I’ll be fine.”

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