Marco Dawson and New Zealand’s Steven Alker fired matching rounds of 64 to share the second-round lead at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Friday in Phoenix.
Alker and Dawson are at 11-under 131 through two days at Phoenix Country Club, one ahead of a four-way tie at 10 under: Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (63 Friday), Germany’s Alex Cejka (64), Harrison Frazar (67) and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (67).
Steve Stricker, who has already clinched the season-long Schwab Cup title, withdrew from the season finale earlier this week when his father was admitted to the hospital for a medical emergency.
The tournament field is vying for second place. Alker, last year’s Schwab Cup winner, could take that runner-up mantle with a win after entering the week fourth in the standings.
Alker birdied five of his first seven holes Friday. After five straight pars, he tallied three birdies and a bogey in the final six-hole stretch.
“Got the start I wanted again today. It was great,” Alker said. “… I didn’t play the back well yesterday and (on Friday I) just kind of kept my round going. Threw a bogey in there somewhere. Yeah, just pleased to just keep it going and finish strong.”
Dawson poured in seven birdies without a bogey for his second round. Both his wins on the PGA Tour Champions came back in 2015.
He said he was fighting through muscle pain in his chest area.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to make three holes yesterday it was hurting so bad and I just kept on going and going, it was OK, OK,” Dawson said. “So I think maybe that’s one of the reasons why I’m scoring well, because I’m not focused on my game. I’m just trying to stay out there and play and make sure I get around.”
While Alker won the Schwab Cup in 2022, Harrington posted a seven-shot win over runner-up Cejka in the tournament itself. His eight-birdie, bogey-free 63 on Friday was the round of the day.
“I was thankful that this is a 72-hole tournament,” Harrington said. “When I tweeted that out, it’s a 72-hole tournament, I also meant that I better get back in it quick because this is the reality of the Champions Tour. You can’t fall too far behind, there’s too many guys going to go forward. So yeah, it was important to come out and shoot a low one today.”
–Field Level Media
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