PGA Tour Champions: Steve Alker’s win at the 2021 TimberTech has changed his golf trajectory

Nov, 2022

BOCA RATON (Fla.) — Steven Alker arrived at the TimberTech Championship last year without a status on the PGA Tour Champions. He hadn’t won a tournament for seven years, and had the same financial worries as other 50-year-olds.

He was a journeyman’s travelman.

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It’s not anymore.

Many things have changed over the last 52 weeks. His two-shot win at the TimberTech Championship earned him a valuable exemption on the 50-and older circuit.

Alker stated, “That was huge to be able avoid Q-school.” It’s difficult to escape here.

The New Zealander, however, has made it seem easy since he turned fifty. He qualified Monday for an event, and then finished in top 10 in five of his first five tournaments. This earned him a spot on the PGA Tour Champions.

His game took a new level when he won at Broken Sound last season. In his 22 previous starts, he has won five times, five seconds, and four thirds.

Are you worried about money? No.

Alker has made almost $4.4 million on the PGA Tour Champions in the last 14 months. This is nearly twice what he earned ($2.31million) playing mainly on European and Korn Ferry tours over a 22-year period from 1998 to 2020.

If he wins this week, he could win another $1 million in the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. The $350,000 first prize will push his PGA Tour Champions earnings to $6 million. Although it isn’t LIV Golf money, it has changed his life.

Alker stated that “I haven’t had many chances to spend this money because it’s happened so quickly.” It’s nice to know that I can provide for my family and put my children through college. This type of security has been missing from my life since almost never.”

Alker won’t be a household name because, despite his success on the golf course, he doesn’t get much airtime in the telecasts of Golf Channel. He also knows that he can’t move any needles. His fellow players are proud of his accomplishments and his game.

“If you asked anybody out there, they’d probably say that they’re probably shocked at what he’s done,” stated Darren Clarke, 2011 British Open champion and 2020 TimberTech winner. “Some people blossom at different stages in their careers. His consistency and scores are remarkable.”

Alker’s success was helped by several factors. He played a full-time job into his 40s to keep him competitive. He was excited to be playing on the PGA Tour Champions (“some men aren’t” he said); he also sought the help of Bob Charles at 47.

Charles was the first lefty winner of a major (1963 British Open). He also ranks fourth on the PGA Tour Champions career victories list with 25. Charles was also a long-lasting player, being the 70th oldest player to reach the cut on the PGA European Tour in 2007.

Alker stated, “Bob is a master of my game. He told me to not change anything.” He knew that I had the game to play here. He encouraged me to keep doing the same thing I was doing.

Alker has never been afraid to wear his journeyman badge. Alker stated that the Middle East was the only place where he hadn’t played competitively.

Alker stated, “I suppose when you talk about journeyman, you have kind of been everywhere, done everything, and that’s what I feel like.” “A lot of the places I’ve been, I haven’t done it well. But some places I have.”

The PGA Tour Champions has a new star. Alker was not an overnight success overnight, but it was one of the most memorable stories in the tour’s history.

It’s better to be late than never

“I guess I can see where I am at right now and what I am doing right now. I only have so many years in my career so it’s almost like, “OK, that’s done. Great, fantastic.” Alker asked, “What’s next?” “That’s how I treat it.”

Ex-journeyman: It has been quite the journey.

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