Alker wins Utah Championship despite Wilcox's 59

The Sports NetworkJuly 13, 2013 

Steven Alker closed with a 5-under 66 on Sunday, then parred the first playoff hole to win the Utah Championship.

Ashley Hall posted a 6-under 65 to join Alker at 22-under-par 262. The duo tied the tournament scoring record, which Brendon Todd set in 2008 and J.J. Killeen matched in 2011 at Willow Creek Country Club.

Back at the par-3 18th for the playoff, Hall went first and dumped his tee shot in the water short of the green. Alker followed by hitting his tee ball some 40 feet behind the hole.

Hall pitched his third to six feet. Alker left his birdie putt short, then watched Hall tap in for bogey.

Alker, who hadn't won on the Web.com Tour since 2009, knocked in his 4-footer for par and his third tour title.

"You know, I played solid today. I just didn't make some putts coming in," Alker said in a TV interview. "It was a fun week, and to have the family here, even better."

Will Wilcox fired the fourth 59 in tour history on Sunday. He birdied his final two holes to post the magic number. At the time, those birdies gave him a piece of the lead, but Alker and Hall moved by him late in the round.

Wilcox was joined in third place by Ben Martin (66) and third-round leader Chad Collins (69). Collins, who finished his third round earlier Sunday after a pair of weather delays on Saturday, had a chance at 59 in Friday's second round, but he parred his final six holes.

Shane Bertsch closed with a 66 to end alone in sixth at 20-under-par 264.

Alker birdied the first, then eagled the par-5 third. A birdie on No. 5 moved him to 21-under par, which put him two clear of Peter Tomasulo, Hall and Collins.

The 41-year-old Alker ran off eight consecutive pars from the sixth to let Hall back into the mix.

Hall, who was one group ahead of Alker, birdied the first, third and sixth to get to 19-under. The Australian converted back-to-back birdie efforts to join Alker atop the leaderboard at minus-21.

After three pars in a row from the 11th, Hall dropped in a birdie try at the 14th to move one clear of Alker and Wilcox, who had just finished off his 59.

Alker ended his run of pars with a birdie at No. 14 to join Hall at minus-22. The pair parred the final four holes and went to a playoff.

"The game has been coming around, and I just made enough putts and birdies this week, so it was good," Alker stated on television. "I controlled my ball well, and that was the difference this week."

Martin eagled 17 to get within one and Collins birdied the 10th and 13th to move to minus-21, but neither could get into the extra session.

If it weren't for the playoff, Wilcox would have been the story of the day. He started on the back nine, and reeled off four straight birdies to start his round.

After a pair of pars, he birdied the 16th and made eagle at 17 to get to 7- under through eight holes. Wilcox parred the 18th and first, then ran off three more birdies from the second to move to 19-under.

His run at 59 seemed to stall as he parred three in a row from the fifth. With history on the line, Wilcox birdied the eighth and ninth to shoot 59.

NOTES: Alker earned $112,500 for the win ... Hall lost in a playoff for the second straight event on the Web.com Tour ... The tour heads to Kansas next week for the Midwest Classic, where Shawn Stefani won by two last year.

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