AKRON, Ohio — Steven Alker shot a bogey-free 4-under 66 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship with Joe Durant, Tim Petrovic and Alex Cejka.
A three-time winner this season and the Charles Schwab Cup points leader, Alker had three straight birdies on Nos. 14-16 on his first nine and added another on the par-5 second on Firestone’s South Course.
« First of all, it’s nice to have a bogey-free round at Firestone » the 51-year-old New Zealander said. « It’s that type of golf course, you’ve just got to keep going. But kind of everything, drove it in the fairway for the most part today and hit a lot of greens except for the last few. I scrambled nicely the last couple holes.
« Overall, just a solid day. Kind of kept my nose clean and haven’t done too much wrong. A few more putts would be nice, but yeah, at Firestone, just fairways and greens around here. »
Alker won the Senior PGA Championship in late May in Michigan for his first senior major victory.
« Just getting comfortable in this company, » Alker said. « I think that’s the biggest thing. Just like learning to play my game. It’s been hard to watch these guys but just stay in my skin and play my game. »
The leaders were at 6-under 134.
Durant birdied three of his last four holes in a 65. Petrovic bogeyed the 18th for a 66. Cejka, the first-round leader after a 64, had an even-par 70.
Defending champion Steve Stricker had a bogey-free 65 to join Ernie Els (68), Woody Austin (66) and David Toms (69) at 5 under.
Stricker scrambled to save by on his final hole.
« That was big, » Stricker said. « I hate to make a bogey, the only bogey of the day on the last hole, so I was grinding to make sure I got that one in there. I didn’t want to make a bogey today, so it was a good way to finish, good save. »
Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) was 4 under with Bob Estes (68), Jerry Kelly (69) and Ken Duke (66).