Golf: Alker off the pace in Indiana

Steven Alker has begun poorly in his fight to re-gain a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour finals series. Photo / Getty Images.
Steven Alker has begun poorly in his fight to re-gain a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour finals series. Photo / Getty Images.

Steven Alker has begun poorly in his fight to re-gain a PGA Tour card in the Web.com Tour finals series.

The 42-year-old Hamilton professional, who missed out on a PGA Tour card by one place last week at the end of the regular season on the Web.com Tour, has opened the Hotel Fitness Championship with a four-over par 76 to be in a share of 123rd place today.

Alker, who won the Utah Championship in July, to turn his season around, is projected to be in 83rd position on the Web.com Tour Finals Series Standings.

He needs to finish inside the top-25 players from the final four events to earn a card for the PGA Tour for 2013-2014.

The former New Zealand PGA champion played the front nine of the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana in even-par 36 before coming home in four-over par 40 for a forgettable start.

Fellow Kiwi Tim Wilkinson opened with a three-under par 69 to be in a share of 26th place.

The 35-year-old from Palmerston North, who finished 10th on the Web.com Tour regular-season standings, is projected to slip to 27th in the re-rank on the current standings.

Wilkinson will begin round two five shots back from American Scott McCarron who opened with an eight-under par 64.

Danny Lee, who finished 15th on the money-list, has opened with an even-par 72 to be tied 84th after round one.

The Web.com Tour finals bring together the top 75 money earners on the Web.com Tour money list, players who finished 126-200 on the PGA Tour's FedExCup points list and non-members who have earned enough FedExCup points based on their performance on the PGA Tour to place them 126-200 on that list.

Meanwhile, New Zealand No.1 Michael Hendry has continued his solid debut season on the Japan Golf Tour.

The 33-year-old North Harbour professional, who has won three times in 2013, has opened with a two-under par 70 at the Vana H Cup to be in a share of 18th place after round one.

The two-time New Zealand PGA champion will begin round two three shots back from leaders Yuki Inamori and Sung-Joon Park as he searches for his first title on the Japan Golf Tour.

David Smail got off to another slow start at the Keya Golf Club in Fukuoka. He opened with a two-over par 74 to be tied 85th.

The top 70 players on the money-list at the end of the season retain their cards on the Japan Golf Tour.

In Europe, Michael Campbell is in a fight to make the cut at the Wales Open.

The former US Open Champion, who missed the cut last week in Gleneagles, Scotland, has opened with a two-over par 73 to be in a share of 69th place.

Campbell is currently 163rd on the Race to Dubai Standings and needs a big turnaround to qualify for the Dubai World Championship.

Meanwhile, in the women's game Waikato rookie Sarah Bradley has delivered a timely turnaround in form in stage one of qualifying for the LPGA Tour.

The Cambridge Golf Club player, who had opened with scores of 73 and 77 to be in a share of 92nd place, carded a five-under par 67 in round three to climb and is currently tied 28th.

The Rancho Mirage qualifier is the first of the LPGA Tour's three sectional qualifying events in 2013.

The top-100 players at the end of the week will advance to the second stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida and will unfold from October 8-11.

- APNZ

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