Steven Alker Wins Champions Tour Season-Opening Event In Hawaii

KA’UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Steven Alker won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on Saturday for his second straight PGA Tour Champions victory and eighth in 54 career starts.

The winner of the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in November in Phoenix, Alker won at Hualalai after finishing second the previous two years. The 52-year-old New Zealander took a two-stroke lead into the final round, then closed with his second straight 9-under 63 for a four-stroke victory over Harrison Frazar.

“I took a good three weeks off after Champions Cup,” Alker said. “I had a nice week before coming out here and then the game just kind of built as the week went on.”

He holed a 40-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh and had seven birdies in his bogey-free final round to tie the tournament record of 25 under.

“Obviously, today, I got it done on the putting green, for sure,” Alker said. “I made some nice putts.”

Frazar closed with a 65. Defending champion Steve Stricker was third at 20 under after a 66.

“I knew Stricker and Harrison were going to come at me, so just kept the pedal to the metal,” Alker said. “I knew I had to be aggressive, stayed aggressive and just that mindset, just keep committing to my shots.”

The 42-player field was made up of winners from the last two seasons, senior major champions over the last five years and several sponsor exemptions.