Golf: Alker needs two good weeks to win PGA Tour card

Steve Alker has made US$137,457 from 11 events this year.
Steve Alker has made US$137,457 from 11 events this year.

It's crunch time for Steven Alker on the Web.com Tour with two weeks remaining in the race for a PGA Tour card.

The 42-year-old Hamilton professional is in 22nd place on the Web.com Tour order of merit.

He needs two good weeks to stay there and earn full playing rights for the game's most lucrative tour for the first time since 2003.

Alker has made US$137,457 from 11 events in 2013 and the Web.com Tour projection of a benchmark of US$142,000 has traditionally been safe.

The benchmark is based on an average of $6750 per scheduled event, a ratio that has held fairly steady for the past four men to finish No25.

Alker continued his charge overnight at the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tennessee, teeing off the first alongside two Americans, Phillip Mollica and Randall Hutchinson.

The former New Zealand PGA champion turned his season around in spectacular fashion when he won the Utah Championship and has been inside the top 25 on the Order of Merit ever since.

The top 25 players on the Web.com money list at the conclusion of the Cox Classic on August 25 will earn PGA Tour cards for next season.

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 on Dye's Valley Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

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

Tim Wilkinson, who has recorded nine top 15 finishes this year, and Danny Lee have already secured their cards.

Meanwhile, world No1 amateur Lydia Ko is in Canada preparing for her title defence of the CN Canadian Open next week. The Gulf Harbour member made history last year when she won by three strokes at the Vancouver Golf Club to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at the age of 15.

Ko will defend her title at a new course as the tournament moves to the Royal Mayfair Golf Club for the event from August 19-25.

- APNZ

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