Alker leads Champions playoff opener

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Steven Alker shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three PGA Tour Champions playoff events.

Alker had a bogey-free round on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course, making nine birdies in a 12-hole stretch from No. 12 to No. 5. The 50-year-old New Zealander is 55th in the season standings.

"It's a new chapter for me coming from Korn Ferry and playing with those young guys - big, strong, hitting it forever," Alker said. "So in places I was competitive out there, but I'm kind of maybe a little more competitive out here. My game's just coming around at the right time. You've still got to play golf and shoot the scores."

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Money Leaders: Champions
Rank Player Earnings
1 Bernhard Langer $2,712,362
2 Jim Furyk $2,547,730
3 Jerry Kelly $2,543,471
4 Ernie Els $2,368,043
5 Miguel Angel Jimenez $2,188,098
6 Retief Goosen $2,067,193
7 Kevin Sutherland $2,029,346
8 Mike Weir $1,975,330
9 Darren Clarke $1,732,593
10 Steve Stricker $1,686,438
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