Steven Alker wins Rapiscan Systems Classic by 6 strokes



Senior PGA Tour Champions player Tim Herron lands a saving putt on the final 18th hole at Grand Bear Golf Club in Saucier, Mississippi on April 3, 2022. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)


Steven Alker earned his second PGA Tour Champions win, shooting a 7-under 65 in the final round on Sunday to win the Rapiscan Systems Classic by six shots.

Alker’s 18-under total was a record at the event, which moved to Grand Bear Golf Club this year after 10 iterations at Fallen Oak.

Padraig Harrington fired 65 goals on Sunday to tie for second place with Alex Cejka. Bob Estes, who started the day shooting back, slipped to third after shooting 71.

Alker shot a course-record 62 during the second round to take the lead, and followed it golfing nearly flawlessly to hold off an early charge from Estes.

Estes, still looking for his first victory on the 50-plus circuit at 56, matched Alker three times on the front nine but lost the rhythm with a bogey on the par-4 eighth hole and did not was able to guard when Alker landed three straight birdies to start the back nine.

Alker ended a seven-year drought with a TimberTech Championship win in November and was bogey-free over his final 40 holes this weekend. He finished in style, dropping his putter after birdieing the par-4 18th.

“(My game) was there,” Alker said. “I didn’t quite have it on day one, but I just released it and let it go.”

The win continues a serious push from Alker since joining the PGA Champions Tour last year. He finished seventh at the Boeing Classic last summer after taking part in the tournament in a Monday qualifier shortly after turning 50. He finished with nine top 10 finishes in 10 starts to end the season, including his win at Timber Tech and was top 20 in all four starts this year.

Harrington, heading to the Masters this week, shot a five-under 31 on the back nine to advance to second. Bernard Langer, a two-time Masters champion who will make his 39th Augusta appearance, shot a 1-under 71 to finish 1-under for the tournament.


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