Steven Alker wins Senior PGA Championship for First Major
Steven Alker’s incredible second-chance golf career now includes victory in one of the five senior majors.
Kiwi Alker won the Senior PGA Championship in Michigan this morning thanks to a superlative final round, continuing his incredible form on the tour for golfers aged over 50.
He scored a near million-dollar payday for his win in Michigan along with a load of exemptions including into next year’s PGA Championship, one of the four regular majors.
Alker stormed to the title with a final round of 63, eight under par, to go with his 64 on the first day. It matched the best final round by a winner in senior major history.
Turning to his three-wood off the tee, after some driver difficulties midway through the tournament, Alker’s decision making and composure were superb as he finished at 16-under, three shots ahead of Canadian Stephen Ames.
“I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable yet,” said Alker, when asked how he felt about playing alongside stars he grew up admiring.
“But I’m just enjoying playing out here – it’s so much fun.”
The Hamiltonian has emerged as an unlikely superstar of world golf after his journeyman career skyrocketed once he joined the PGA Champions Tour.
Alker overhauled Hall of Fame golfer Bernhard Langer and overnight leader Ames – who Alker trailed by four shots going into the last round – to win on the Harbor Shores course.
He scored prizemoney of $960,000 for the win, as his bank balance continued to explode after years of tough times on regular tours.
Alker had just two seasons on the PGA tour and limited success on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour before qualifying to play on the senior tour midway through 2021.
But he has quickly stamped himself as the finest senior player where he is in fields full of famous names. This was his third win of the year, he has been the runner up twice in 2022, and has four wins overall.
He piled on nine birdies in a final round that contained only one blooper when he found knee-high rough on the seventh.
He had a run of four consecutive birdies in the middle of his round, taking advantage of the most generous part of the course and putting the field on notice.
Langer, who remains two behind Hale Irwin’s record of 45 senior titles, was off his game late in the final round while Ames also struggled.
Alker’s chase was so complete that he was presented with the trophy while Ames and a pedestrian Langer were still on the course.