12 Aug 2013

Alker's PGA Tour dream alive

1:30 pm on 12 August 2013

Hamilton golfer Steven Alker is on the cusp of a PGA Tour card, with the 41-year-old just needing two more good weeks on the second-tier web.com Tour to get the job done.

Alker finished in a share of 19th at the latest tournament in Missouri and is projected to slip one place on the money-list to 22nd, after posting rounds of 67, 70, 69 and 70 at the Highland Springs Country Club to finish on a 12-under par total.

The former NZ PGA champion finished 10 shots back from the winner, and needs to finish inside the top 25 players on the Order of Merit to return to the game's most lucrative tour.

Alker qualified for the PGA Tour in 2003 through the Nationwide Tour. There are only two events remaining in the revised format for the web.com Tour in 2013.

The top 25 will be joined by another 25 players who earn their way onto the game's most lucrative tour through a new four-tournament playoff concluding with the web.com Tour Championship from September 26-29 in Florida.

This four-week playoff takes the place of the tour's annual qualifying tournament.

It appears fellow New Zealand pros Tim Wilkinson and Danny Lee have already done enough to qualify for the PGA Tour in 2014. With Wilkinson ninth and Lee 12th, the pair opted to not play the week in Missouri, after Wilkinson missed the cut at the previous tournament in Pennsylvania, where Lee finished tied 46th.

If Alker can join them on the PGA Tour, it will be a return to the heydays of New Zealand golf. In 2002 New Zealand golf had its largest ever presence on the PGA Tour when they had five players - Craig Perks, Frank Nobilo, Phil Tataurangi, Grant Waite and Michael Long - with full playing rights.