The eerie, unfathomable growth of Steven Alker from PGA Tour Champions outsider to a major force in senior golf was concluded on Sunday at Boca Raton, Fla. The fifty-year-old New Zealand native won the TimberTech Championship by two strokes over the reigning U.S. senior Open Champion Jim Furyk and fast-closing Miguel Angel Jimenez.
He was slacking off on his Korn Ferry Tour until he was 50 on July 28 and doing what he calls the “hard yards” in his own words, Alker had been a frequent visit to Champions Tour leader boards. He finally won his first win since winning the fourth of his Korn Ferry titles at the 2014 Cleveland Open.
“I think it’s being built up,” said Alker, who made his professional debut following Monday’s qualifying at the Boeing Classic in mid-August and had six consecutive top-10 finishes to be a participant at the next event. “I’ve been getting a chance as well … there are many top-10s and then you’re into the thick of it and you just want to score the win. It’s not that top-10s don’t have any merit. You just need the win and you’re thankful that I persevered today.”
With a one-stroke advantage before the hole that is a par-5 in The Old Course at Broken Sound, Alker finished off with a four-under-par 68 by making one final birdie to beat second-round co-leaders Furyk as well as Tim Petrovic. Alker had only played three times playing on the PGA Tour and never finished higher than 17th, shot 17-under 199.
Furyk looking to reduce significantly the lead of Bernhard Langer in the long-running Charles Schwab Cup points race He stumbled on the greens for putting and finished with a score of 71. Jimenez was able to make seven birdies in a 66 to finish the low round of the day.
Petrovic struggling to shoot 74 following an early birdie staked his to a lead of two strokes and he ended up five strokes back at 212. He was tied for fourth place alongside Ernie Els, who shot 71.
With a final-round score of 69, Langer was T-11 and maintained his lead in the standings of points heading towards this week’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the final game on the extended senior schedule that spanned over two years as a result of this pandemic. The season’s finale will be held in Phoenix, Ariz., at Phoenix Country Club which is where Langer will attempt to be victorious in this year’s Charles Schwab Cup for a sixth time.