Steven Alker won the Charles Schwab Cup in 2022, his first season-long title on the PGA Tour Champions.
This year, with Steve Stricker having already locked up the series title, Alker will have to settle for winning the season’s final tournament, the 2023 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Alker shot a 6-under 65 on the 6,860-yard Phoenix Country Club in the third round on another gorgeous November day in the Valley of the Sun. He had seven birdies and just one bogey Saturday and will sleep on a four-shot 54-hole lead.
Alker seems to be comfortable at this central city, parkland-style layout. He is 17 under thanks for 20 birdies and three bogeys over the three days so far. He’s birdied Nos. 1, 4 and 5 all three days. He is 14 under on the front side and 3 under on the back.
For the New Zealander who now calls Scottsdale home, Alker says he’d like to finish this one off.
“Well, it’s a home game, I’ve got family and friends here, it would be huge,” he said. “I can’t win the Schwab Cup again, but hey, No. 2’s better than No. 3, right?”
Alex Cejka is Alker’s closest pursuer at 13 under. Thongchai Jaidee and last year’s tournament winner Padraig Harrington are tied for third at 12 under. Second-round co-leader Marco Dawson slipped back into a tie for 13th after a 74 on Saturday. First-round leader Ernie Els is among five golfers tied for fifth at 11 under.
Nine golfers have shot in the 60s in all three rounds so far.
The 72-hole, no-cut season-ender concludes Sunday. First place is worth $528,000.