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On a day of low scoring, Steven Alker begins with an eagle to share lead at Senior PGA Championship

Steven Alker added six birdies to his eagle for an opening-round 64.Stacy Revere/Getty

On a day when birdies were flying around Harbor Shores in the first round of the Senior PGA Championship, Steven Alker began soaring with an eagle.

The 50-year-old New Zealander, who already has won twice and leads the PGA Tour Champions money list with almost $1.2 million, started his round with a 25-foot downhill eagle putt on the 539-yard, par-5 10th hole after a 240-yard approach with a 5-wood. He then finished his afternoon round with his sixth birdie of the day to shoot a 7-under-par 64, which was tied late in the day by 56-year-old Bob Estes.

Alker and Estes were a stroke ahead of Paul Claxton, a club professional from Georgia, and 52-year-old Canadian lefthander Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters champion after the first round at the Jack Nicklaus-design course on Lake Michigan, the site of four previous Senior PGAs since 2012.


Estes recorded seven birdies without a bogey, five of them after his turn on Harbor Shores’ front nine. He birdied Nos. 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 on his march to the clubhouse.

Duffy Waldorf and Robert Karlsson had 66s in the afternoon and there were 10 players at 67, led by Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, No. 2 to Alker on the money list, Els and DiMarco, who was playing at Harbor Shores for the first time but does well in golf tournaments in southwest Michigan. He won the 1988 Western Amateur as a 19-year-old Florida Gator at nearby Point O’Woods Golf & Country Club in Millburg.

PGA — Scottie Scheffler did something last weekend that he rarely does, watching a golf tournament at home after missing a cut. The world’s No. 1 player is back on the course, and tied atop a crowded leaderboard at Colonial in Fort Worth.


Scheffler was among eight players who shot 4-under-par 66 in the Charles Schwab Classic. But he was the only in that group without a bogey, rebounding from his missed cut at the PGA Championship.

Cam Davis, Beau Hossler, Chris Kirk, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Nick Taylor and Harold Varner III also shot 66s. Seven others were a shot back.

“The course is playing harder than it does in a typical year here. Yeah, I felt like I did a really good job of managing myself around the golf course,” Scheffler said. “Anytime you make no bogeys, it’s going to be a good round.”

Those who teed off in the morning wave — including Scheffler, Reed, Simpson and Varner — started with virtually no wind and cooler conditions. The wind picking up later in their rounds and gusted to 20 mph throughout the afternoon.

Defending Colonial champion Jason Kokrak and Jordan Spieth, the 2016 winner who last year became a third-time runner-up, shot 69.

Many players wore ribbons pinned to their caps to show support for the community of Uvalde, Texas — about 350 miles south of the course — after 19 students and two teachers were killed in a shooting at an elementary school Tuesday.