Steven Alker dominated the front nine at Phoenix Country Club in the first three rounds of the 2023 Charles Schwab Cup Championship, finishing an impressive 14 under over 54 holes. In contrast, he was 3 under on the back nine. This provided Alker with a substantial four-shot lead at 17 under heading into the final round.
However, Sunday painted a different picture. Despite birdieing the first, fourth, and fifth holes in the previous rounds, Alker parred and bogeyed the same holes on Sunday. Ultimately, he made the turn at 1 under on the day, allowing a few competitors to close the gap.
One of those competitors was Ernie Els, who initially narrowed Alker’s lead to just one shot by going 5 under through eight holes on Sunday. Though his momentum waned with eight consecutive pars, Els managed to birdie the 17th and finish at 17 under, tying with Stephen Ames who also shot a 65.
To secure the tournament win, Alker only needed to par the last three holes. Despite a moment of uncertainty, he managed to secure victory by making a crucial par putt on the 18th hole.
Having won the season-long title the previous year, Alker’s victory at Phoenix Country Club marked another successful year for the New Zealander, who has called Scottsdale, Arizona, his home for over two decades.
As Alker celebrated his tournament win, another trophy was present for Steve Stricker, who clinched the series title after pulling out of Phoenix due to his father’s hospitalization.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Steven Alker wins 2023 Charles Schwab Cup Championship for seventh PGA Tour Champions win
Daniel Miller takes readers to the greens with his passion for golf. He offers coverage of major golf tournaments, player achievements, and insights into the sport’s rich history, making him a trusted source for golf enthusiasts.