Top-25 for Harrington on the PGA Tour Champions at the Insperity Invitational

Adam McKendry
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Top-25 for Harrington on the PGA Tour Champions at the Insperity Invitational

Padraig Harrington (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Back-to-back two-under 70s to close saw Padraig Harrington secure a top-25 finish on the PGA Tour Champions at the Insperity Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas.

The former European Ryder Cup captain, who was out of contention to win, had a relatively uneventful final round to finish off his week as three birdies and a bogey saw him reach four-under-par and a share of 25th.

On the birdie-heavy seniors circuit, that left him 14 shots off winner Steven Alker, who entered a lengthy rain delay at the start of his back nine in a three-way tie for the lead with Brandt Jobe and Steve Stricker but pulled away after the resumption of play to secure a four-shot win at 18-under.

It is another learning curve for Harrington, who played good golf over the three days but needs to find more birdies to compete for trophies at this level given the more favourable set-ups than on the PGA Tour.

His final round threatened to be better after he opened with back-to-back birdies, but he was never able to capitalise on that momentum and after five straight pars, his next scoring hole would be a bogey at the par-three eighth.

The 50-year-old had a steady inward nine to close out his tournament, eight pars and one birdie – at the par-four 12th – taking him back to the clubhouse with a 70, and he will look to take that forward.

Meanwhile, Alker closed out his second win in the last three events with a sensational back nine consisting of four birdies and an eagle in a six-under 66 to secure a four-stroke victory over Jobe and Stricker.

The New Zealander was on fire at The Woodlands Country Club, pulling away as Jobe and Stricker never kicked on on their back nines, and he was so comfortable that he could bogey the final hole and still cruise to success.

“I actually watched some footage up in the clubhouse of yesterday and some of the play first thing,” revealed Alker.

“Just made a little adjustment, just changed my ball position and felt a little more on top of the ball. Just a tiny little thing and I started hitting some nice shots and driving it better.

“Thank goodness we kind of did have a little break because I kind of struggled, missed a few fairways early on and made some nice putts, kept me going. Then I got my roll going, so it was all over.”

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