PGA Tour Champions
Steve Flesch takes advantage of Steven Alker's late miscues to win the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach
Steven Alker has not misfired often in his spectacular PGA Tour Champions run, but he did so at the least opportune time late on Sunday afternoon at Pebble Beach Golf Links, providing an opening on which Steve Flesch cashed in with a victory in the PURE Insurance Championship.
Alker, the New Zealander who already had won three times in 2022, attempted to reach the green at the par-5 18th hole with his second shot, but hit his ball left and into the Pacific Ocean. Flesch, meanwhile, had laid up with his second shot, then wedged his third to seven feet from the hole and made the birdie putt for the victory.
“Big goal of mine winning here at Pebble Beach,” Flesch said. “A lot of great players have come through here and won. It’s exciting. I’ve always played well here. To get a chance at a victory today, Steven gave me an opportunity on the last hole, hitting it left, and I hit a good wedge shot.”
The victory was the second of the year for Flesch and the third of his PGA Tour Champions career. He finished with a four-under-par 68 for a 54-hole score of 11-under-par 205. Alker shot a three-under 69 and tied for second with Ernie Els, who posted the round of the day, an eight-under 64.
Alker, who leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings, has been dominant since joining the senior tour last year, and he seemed destined to win again. He took a one-stroke lead into the par-3 17th hole, but tugged his tee shot, the ball stopping on the left side of the bunker. He had to manufacture a stance that even would allow him to have a shot, which he then left short. Hhe missed the par putt to fall into a tie with Flesch and Els.
Flesch won with a textbook birdie at 18—a drive into the fairway, a perfect layup, a quality wedge shot and a dead-center putt.