PHOENIX — Padraig harrington could win this week by 10 shots, but it may not matter.
Harrington finished second in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship points racing. He lit up Phoenix Country Club Saturday, cruising around the par-71 6,860-yard course to a 9-under-62 score to gain a significant five-shot lead after 54 holes.
Alker stated, “Padraig kicked me ass today. That’s basically what happened.”
Harrington is in a great position to win this tournament, but to win the series title he must win and see Alker finish outside of the top five.
Harrington is currently at 21 under. Alker shot a 3-under-68 Saturday to reach 16 under. While he is still five shots behind the tournament lead, Alker is still ahead of Harrington. The steady Alker is only 18 holes away to his first series title, despite the lead Harrington has.
Harrington started his round by hitting an eagle on the opening hole. This is only the second eagle that the field has produced in excess of 54 holes. Harrington took the lead quickly, starting the day one shot behind Alker.
Birdies on Nos. He was able to reach the turn in 32 by making birdies on Nos. 5 and 7. Harrington birdied the 11th hole to take a three-shot lead. To get to 18 under, he putted a curling left to right putt from 12 feet. That birdie on No. After Harrington converted a second shot over tall trees, 12 was possible.
Are you having tree trouble? Not for @padraig_h.
Great birdie @SchwabCupFinale for building lead. pic.twitter.com/H3XZhmRASH
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour November 12, 2022
Harrington was unaffected by even a single stray shot from the 14th hole. Harrington hit from the rough from 111 yards and only a few feet away from the perimeter fence. He stuffed his approach and then made another birdie putt, becoming the first player in the field to reach 20 under for the week.
Harrington’s fifth eagle shot of the day was 18; it was a 61. He missed left. His two-foot birdie earned him a 62, which was the tournament’s highest score. He also reached 21 under. Alker’s 18-foot birdie capped a bogey free 68. He’s actually bogey-free through 54 of his holes.
Alker stated, “I have a lot to chase now to win this tournament, but yeah get a good nights sleep and we’ll all be fine,”
Brian Gay shot a 66 Saturday and is now solo third. Alex Cejka, who shot a 66 on Saturday, held the honor of round at Phoenix Country Club for about an hour after his 8-under score of 63. He is in sole fourth at 14 under. After shooting a round-three 68, Retief Goosen is alone fifth at 13 under.
Alker and Harrington were the only golfers with a chance to win the Cup at the season finale.
Langer is now a long shot
Bernhard Langer came into the week looking for a different kind history. He won his 44th Champions title a week ago; a 45th would tie Hale Irwin’s all-time Champions record, which was set 15 years ago.
Langer opened 66-69 and shot a 1-under 70 on Saturday. He will be starting the final round at 8 over, 13 shots behind. Langer’s record-setting win will not be repeated until the 2023 season opener at Hualalai, Hawaii’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
This week’s prize money
The first place in the Schwab Cup is $440,000. The series title winner receives a $1,000,000 bonus. The top five finishers of the Cup standings will receive a lump sum deposit to a Schwab brokerage account.
- First place: $1,000,000
- Second: $500,000
- Third: $300,000
- Fourth: $200,000
- Fifth: $100,000