New Zealand’s Steve Alker – records his 6th consecutive top ten

In recent weeks I have written on several occasions on the deeds of New Zealander Steve Alker in events on the PGA Tour Champions and, today, the 50-year-old added another chapter when he finished tied for 7th at the Constellation Furyk and Friends event in Jacksonville in Florida.

One look at many of the players who finished ahead of and behind Alker this week, tells the story of just how quickly he has adapted to playing in events restricted for the 50 and overs, six of the leading 12 players this week major champions and several others in the field either major champions or Hall of Famers.

Phil Mickelson won the event by two shots over Miguel Angel Jimenez, the victory Mickelson’s third on the PGA Tour Champions.

Alker needed a birdie at the final hole today to force his way into the top ten, an important milestone as it qualifies him to play this coming week’s SAS Championship in North Carolina.

This was Alker’s sixth consecutive top ten in his first six starts, each finish earning him a start the following week after Monday qualifying for his debut event, the Boeing Classic in late August.

This week’s finish improves Alker to 56th in the Charl Schwab Cup standings and although not yet exempt for next season he is well on track to finish inside the top 54 and earn the right to play in as many as half the events in 2022 and a big finish in the next week or two could see him inside the top 36 who have full status next year.

The lottery that is qualifying for the PGA Tour Champions is one to be avoided at all costs as only five players earn a card if required to negotiate that stern test.

Given the quality of play on the PGA Tour Champions it is hard to overstate the performance of Alker, especially given his lack of success on the few occasions he played on the PGA Tour.

Alker has won several events on the Korn Ferry Tour, Canadian and Australasian Tours  however and, importantly, remained competitive on the Korn Ferry Tour right up to turning 50 in July.

Rod Pampling was 38th this week. Stuart Appleby in just his second Champions Tour event 46th, Robert Allenby 57th, John Senden 63rd, Stephen Leaney 72nd and David MacKenzie 78th.