BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Steven Alker avoided mistakes down the stretch and closed with an 8-under 63 on Sunday for a three-shot victory in the Senior PGA Championship, his third title this year and first major.

Alker started the final round four shots behind and forged a three-way tie with Stephen Ames and Bernhard Langer on the back nine.

Langer missed the green on consecutive holes and made bogeys to fall back. Ames hit his drive into the water on the par-4 14th and had to scramble for bogey.

Alker birdied the 15th and 16th holes playing in front of Ames to seize control, and Ames couldn’t catch up.

Alker finished at 16-under 268. Ames closed with a 70 to finish second, while Langer (71) finished alone in third.

Alker, a 50-year-old from New Zealand, spent the bulk of his career on the Korn Ferry Tour and a few seasons on the PGA Tour and European tour. Since he turned 50 last summer, he has taken over the PGA Tour Champions.

He started as a Monday qualifier and had top 10s that kept getting him into the next events until he finally won during the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. This year, he now has a tour-leading three victories and has two runner-up finishes.

The victory gets him into the PGA Championship next year at Oak Hill. Alker had such an ordinary career before 50 that he never qualified for the PGA Championship.


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