Alker takes lead heading into final day in Boise

07/18/2014 9:37 PM

07/19/2014 9:05 PM

Boise, ID ( - Steven Alker fired a 6-under 65 in Saturday's third round to take over the lead heading into the final day of the Albertsons Boise Open.

Alker, who began the day one shot back of the leaders Bill Lunde and Zack Sucher, finished his third round at 20-under-par 193 and he holds a 2-shot lead after 54 holes.

The 43-year old is looking for his fifth career win on the Tour and his second of the season. Alker also took home the Cleveland Open title back on June 8.

Steve Wheatcroft ended his third day at Hillcrest Country Club with a 65 as well and he is tied with Sucher (68) for second place at 18-under 195.

Justin Thomas and Lunde are both four shots off the lead at 16-under. Thomas tied for the low round of the day with a 64, while Lunde fired a 1-under 70. Glen Day is alone in sixth place at 15-under after shooting a 66 on Saturday.

Alker did not start his day the way he would have liked, but he made up for it very quickly. After a bogey at the par-4 first hole, Alker poured in a birdie at No. 2 to get back to even par.

The big shot of the day from Alker came at the par-5 third when he drained a 35-foot chip for eagle, putting him at 2-under.

"It wasn't a hard chip but it was moving when it went in," Alker said. "That's what the pin is for."

After a par on No. 4, Alker made back-to-back birdies at five and six before finishing up the front nine with three straight pars.

Alker kept things rolling at No. 10 with a birdie to move to 5-under. Five straight pars preceded his next birdie at the par-5 16th hole, which put Alker at 6-under on Saturday. He finished up his round with two straight pars to end there.

"I putted great on the front nine," said Alker. "I just tried to keep the momentum going. The back nine there were some clubs that were in between and I hit some shots that the balls were affected during flight by the wind. The wind was just enough to be a nuisance."

Wheatcroft had things rolling to start his day with birdies at three, five, six and nine, making the turn at 4-under. He made it back-to-back birdies with a gain at the par-4 10th.

Birdies at 14 and 16 had Wheatcroft looking good, but his only blemish of the day, a bogey at No. 17, dropped him back to 18-under for the week. Wheatcroft parred the last and he ended there.

Sucher, who shot an incredible 11-under 60 in the first round, began his third day very strong with three straight birdies from No. 1, but he gave two of those back with bogeys at six and eight.

The back nine was relatively quiet for Sucher as he made seven pars to go along with birdies at 10 and 16.

NOTES: Alker's 193 through 54 holes is a new record for the Albertsons Boise Open. The record was previously held by Michael Putnam (2012) and Philip Pettitt (2013), both of which were at 18-under 195 through three rounds ... Alker has never held a 54-hole lead on the Tour until now.

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