PHOENIX — It all began at a Monday qualifier fifteen months ago.
Steven Alker is now at the top of his game, having won 32 events and earned $4,710612,612 in prize money. He won his first PGA Tour Champions series title at Phoenix Country Club on Sunday. He celebrated his win with a huge smile and a fist pump around the 18th green.
Alker finished solo third with a final-round 68, eight shots behind tournament winner Padraig Hrrington. However, it was good enough to win the series title for first time. Alker would have been satisfied with any finish in the top five if Harrington won.
This is the culmination a fast-fire success rate by Alker since joining senior circuit.
Alker flew to Seattle in 2021 looking for an outside chance at the Boeing Classic. This was 18 days after he reached 50, making him eligible for the PGA Tour Champions. Alker was able to get in because of his strong Monday qualifier score. This was a tough decision as he didn’t have any status on the tour.
Since 2017, he hasn’t been to a PGA Tour event and he spent most of his professional career working through Korn Ferry Tour events. Harrington says that Alker’s incredible run today is due to his hard work on the Korn Ferry Tour in his 40s.
Harrington stated Wednesday that he was always a pleasant player before the championship started. He’s likely as fit as he was twenty years ago. So he hasn’t fallen behind. These are the players who are trying to compete from 45 to 50 years old. They tend to do well out here. These are the best. It’s impossible to give up the game for five, eight, or ten years and expect to find it again. He did this by remaining competitive. You can see his great play right now. At 49, he was still on the Korn Ferry tour. It’s rare to find 49-year-old men who can do this.
Rounds of 67,73,67 earned him a tie for seventh place in the 2021 Boeing Classic. That was it for Monday qualifying. His top-10 finish earned him a spot next week in the Ally Challenge where he placed solo third. He kept getting into more Champions events as he continued to accumulate top-10s.
He posted six consecutive top-10s, and earned a place in the 2021 Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. Alker won the TimberTech Championship’s second playoff event last year. Alker’s second-place finish at Phoenix Country Club was the culmination of a hectic stretch that saw him earn $1,146,207 in his bank account.
He didn’t lose any time despite the calendar shift to 2022. Alker won three times prior to June 1, and then won a series-tying fourth time to open the Schwab playoffs.
Alker held a clear lead in points races by the time they reached Phoenix. Alker was unaffected by Harrington’s weekend scores of 65 and 62. He did not make a bogey on Sunday’s 12th hole. He made a second one on 13, but then birdied the 14. His 21st birdie of the week was the 16th.
Alker’s third place finish is worth $210,000. This brings his total 2022 earnings to $3,544,425. His career total now stands at $4,710.632. Alker will also receive $1 million in bonus money to win the Schwab Cup series title. This money will be made as a lump sum into a Schwab brokerage accounts.
- First Place: $1 Million
- Second: $500,000
- Third: $300,000
- Fourth: $200,000
- Fifth: $100,000
Harrington won the tournament and was awarded the $440,000 first-place prize. This brings his season total up to $3,293,255.