Watersports

Alker shoots 64, tied for PGA Champions Tour lead in Iowa

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Jerry Kelly watches his shot from the third tee during the second round of the PGA Tour Champions Principal Charity Classic golf tournament, Saturday, June 4, 2022, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

PA

Steven Alker topped another PGA Tour champion standings on Saturday, shooting an 8-under 64 for a share of the second-round lead at the Principal Charity Classic.

After picking up a victory last week at Michigan in the Senior PGA Championship, Alker played all four par-5 holes at the Wakonda Club in 5 under – making an eagle and three birdies – to tie first-round leader Jerry Kelly Kirk Triplett and Brett Quigley at 13-under 131.

“Things are going well,” said Alker “And my caddy says I have a good plan. I’m just in the right place. Just hitting the targets I need. And obviously putting in well this week too.

Alker is trying to win for the fifth time in his last 12 events. The 50-year-old New Zealander has spent most of his career on the Korn Ferry Tour and a few seasons on the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Last week at Benton Harbor, he closed with an 8-under 63 for a three-stroke victory.

Alker birdied on the fourth of the opening holes and added another on the par-5 eighth in a front nine 31, then drilled a 20-footer from the fringe on the par-5 13th and made his final birdie of the day on par- 5 15th.

Kelly birdied six straight in 66. The birdie run ended on the par-4 18th when he left a 20-footer a foot away.

“The way Alker plays, it’s going to take a minimum of 6 (under Sunday), I would say,” Kelly said. “But if it rains, all bets are off and let’s see what happens. Mother Nature dictates the scores more than anything. But you’ve got a guy with a hot hand right now, and you sure can’t let him go. early.

Triplett, 60, followed an opening 63 with a 68.

Quigley shot 66, birdying the final three holes.

Bernhard Langer was a stroke back after a 66. The 64-year-old German star birdied on three of the last five holes in a bogey-free round.

Steve Stricker was 8 under after a 67 a week after having to pull out of the Senior PGA due to a positive COVID-19 test result. He won the major at Alabama in his previous start.

Fred Couples was also in the group at 8 under, shooting 69.

Defending champion Stephen Ames was 6 under after a 67.