Golf: The race is on for Alker

The race is on for Kiwi golfer Steven Alker to qualify for the PGA Tour for a second time. Photo / Getty Images.
The race is on for Kiwi golfer Steven Alker to qualify for the PGA Tour for a second time. Photo / Getty Images.

The race is on for Kiwi golfer Steven Alker to qualify for the PGA Tour for a second time.

The 41-year-old Hamilton professional, who won a month ago in a playoff at the Utah Championship to reignite his hopes of finishing inside the top 25, is currently 21st on the Web.com Tour money list.

The former New Zealand PGA Champion, who qualified through the Nationwide Tour for the 2003 season, is back in action this week at the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Missouri which gets underway tonight as he looks to advance his position.

The Web.com Tour has reported that fellow Kiwis Tim Wilkinson and Danny Lee have already done enough to qualify for the PGA Tour in 2014. They have opted to not play this week after Wilkinson missed the cut last week in Pennsylvania and Lee finished tied 46th.

There are seven events remaining on the Web.com Tour in 2013 (including this week) and New Zealand currently has three players Wilkinson (9th), Lee (11th) and Alker (21st) inside the top 25 on the money list.

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) will full playing rights.

Alker needs to keep recording results and that begins this week.

Also in the States, Vaughan McCall is preparing for his first US Amateur Championship next week at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The 21-year-old from the Gore Golf Club secured his place in one of the biggest amateur events in golf with a special performance in qualifying in Texas.

The New Zealand rep delivered ``the best mental performance of my life'' - a five-under par 31 on the back nine at the Woodlands Country Club - to finish in a share of second and secure his place by finishing inside the top four qualifying spots in the field of 300 golfers.

He will look to become the second Kiwi to win the US Amateur after Danny Lee.

McCall is the first Kiwi to play the US Amateur since Lee five years ago. The tournament is on from August 12-18.

- APNZ

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