Alker, Estes share opening-round lead at Sr. PGA Championship

Published 11:32 am Friday, May 27, 2022

BENTON HARBOR — Steven Alker and Bob Estes shared the first-round lead at the 2022 Sr. PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Thursday.

The pair took a one-stroke lead into today’s second round over Mike Weir and Paul Claxton, who both shot 65 Thursday. Right behind him were Robert Karlsson (66), Miguel Angel Jimenez, Dicky Pride, Ernie Els, Woody Austin, Shane Bertsch, Thomas Levet, Chris DiMarco, Mark Hensby, Joakim Haeggman and Gene Sauers, all of whom finished with an opening-round 67.

Alker opened the tournament with an eagle on the opening hole, which for him was Harbor Shore’s infamous No. 10, which course designer Jack Nicklaus rolled in a 100-foot putt during its dedication in 2016.

“Well, I got No. 10 green out of the way so that was a good thing,” he said. “Two nice shots down there and then just kind of got rolling. Hit some nice wedges close and made a couple of putts early on. Then I think I had a three-putt somewhere. Just kind of slowed down the ship a little bit. Caddie and I just said, there’s not much wind, let’s keep going at some flags. That just kind of kept me going. I started my back nine, the front nine, well. It was nice to keep the momentum and keep going.”

An additional dozen golfers shot 68.

Here are some opening round notes about the first-round leaders provided by the PGA:

Things to Know

Steven Alker, 32-32 – 64 (-7)

• Carded his second-lowest 18-hole score of the season (26 rounds)

• Marks his 15th consecutive round of par or better

• Has posted par or better in 25 of his 26 rounds this season

• This is his third time leading/co-leading after the first round on PGA TOUR Champions

• Is 1-for-2 converting those into victories

• T4/2021 Dominion Energy Charity Classic

• Won/2022 Insperity Invitational

• Charles Schwab Cup leader seeks his third win in his last five starts on PGA TOUR Champions

• Would be the most by any player on the Champions Tour in the 2022 season

• Has four consecutive top-3 finishes entering the week

• Finished T3 in his senior major debut at the Regions Tradition earlier this month

• Has been inside the top-5 after 32 of his 57 rounds on PGA TOUR Champions

• Owns three wins and 15 top-10s on PGA TOUR Champions (18 starts)


Bob Estes, 31-33 – 64 (-7)

• Matched his lowest 18-hole score on PGA TOUR Champions (226 rounds)

• R3/2020 Chubb Classic, R2/2022 Rapiscan Systems Classic

• This is his first time leading/co-leading after any round on PGA TOUR Champions

• Making his seventh start of the season, his best finish is fourth (Rapiscan Systems Classic)

• Has two top-10s in three starts at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

• Best finish: T5 (2017)

• Seeking his first win on PGA TOUR Champions (72nd start)

• Best finish: 2nd (2020 Chubb Classic), T2 (2019 Sanford International)