DES MOINES, Iowa
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.