Saturday, July 2, 2022

Alker shoots 63 more rallies to win senior PGA for first major

Benton Harbour, Mich. ( Associated Press) — Steven Elker avoided mistakes down the stretch and closed at 8-under 63 on Sunday for a three-shot win at the Senior PGA Championship, his third title and first major this year.

Alker started the final round four shots behind and drew a three-way tie with Stefan Ames and Bernhard Langer on the last nine.

Langer consistently missed Green on the hole and bogged down to fall back. Ames hit his drive in the par-4 14th water and had to scramble for the bogie.

Elker, playing in front of Aims, made birdies in the 15th and 16th holes to regain control and Aims could not catch it.

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Alker finished at 16-under 268. Ames finished second with 70, while Langer (71) was alone in third.

Alker, 50, from New Zealand spent the bulk of his career on the Korn Ferry Tour and a few seasons on the PGA Tour and European Tour. He has taken over as the PGA Tour Champions since he turned 50 last summer.

He started as a Monday qualifier and was in the top 10 bringing him to the next events until he eventually won during the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. This year, he now has three wins in a tour and two runners-up.

The victory takes him to the next year’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Alker’s career was so ordinary before 50 that he never qualified for the PGA Championship.

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