Golf: Alker’s birthday present


New Zealand golfer Steve Alker will not soon forget his 52nd birthday.

On his birthday on Friday, Alker took the lead after the second round of the British Open for seniors, which is played on the windy left-hand course at the Porthcawl Country Club in Wales.

Alker, who scored 68 strokes, is on 138 (-4) one stroke ahead of Germany’s Alex Cejka (139, -3), with Scotland’s Greg Hutcheon third (140, -2).

They are followed by Vijay Singh (Fiji), Paul Lawrie (Scotland), Paul Broadhurst (England) and Anders Hansen (Denmark), who all combined on 141, one shot under par.

The veteran Bernard Langer (Germany), who has already won the tournament four times, Steen Tinning (Denmark) and Colin Montgomerie (Scotland) are one stroke further back.

Spaniard Miguel-Angel Jimenez, who led after the first round on 66 shots, scored 76 shots in the second round and is tied for eighth with South Africa’s Keith Horne on 142 (equal par).

James Kingston (146, +4) did the best of the other South Africans, but Chris Williams (150) could not qualify for the last two rounds.

* On the TPC Twin Cities course in Minneapolis, the American Lee Hodges (127, -15) is four strokes ahead of his compatriot Tyler Duncan (131, -11) after the second round of the 3M tournament, which is part of the US PGA Series.

Duncan is followed by Brandt Snedeker, Tony Finau, Kevin Streelman and JT Poston who all finished at 132 (-10).

South Africa’s MJ Daffue and Garrick Higgo (both 137, -5) are in the running, but Erik van Rooyen (139, -3), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (140, -2) and Dylan Frittelli (143, +1) a long path to walk.

* At the Evian Country Club in Evian-Les-Bains in France, Celine Boutier of France leads by one stroke after the second round of the Evian Championship, one of women’s golf’s Major tournaments.

Boutier posted scores of 66 and 69 (135) and was one stroke ahead of Yuka Saso of Japan and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Thailand who both finished at (136, -6).

South Africa’s Paula Reto is eighth at 139 (-3), with Ashleigh Buhai at 144 (+2).

* In the local Sunshine Series’ Eswatini Challenge tournament played at the Nkonyeni Country Club in Kholwane, South Africa’s Matthew Spacey is four strokes ahead of Greece’s Peter Karmis (-8) on 132 (-12) with Leon Visser and Estiaan Conradie (both -7) in third position.

South Africa’s Jean Hugo is tied with Stuart Krog (Zimbabwe) at -6, followed by Callum Mowat, Luca Fillippi, Danie van Niekerk, Rickey Hendler and Ruan Korb, who are all joint seventh at -5.