Alker shows form to stay on pace at Lytham

01:29, Jul 21 2012

Steve Alker, New Zealand's only golfer at the British Open, was the talk of the British Open for a short while, holding the clubhouse lead at one stage during a second round one under par 69.

Alker is two under par and currently tied for 11th, eight shots off leader Brandt Snedeker.

The lone Kiwi golfer in the field, Alker started badly with two bogeys on the first three holes but three birdies on the back nine gave him his second under-par round of the championship.

Alker also posted a one-under par 69 in the first round to put him in 22nd place going into round two.

Alker opened his first round with a birdie. He dropped three shots with a double bogey at the par three fifth hole and a bogy on the sixth. Alker kept his cool to birdie the seventh and finished the first nine one over.

The 40-year-old Hamilton professional played an immaculate back nine, with consecutive birdies on the 15th and 16th holes, getting him below par.

He is playing his third Open Championship, having missed the cut in 1998 and 2007.

Alker qualified for his third major championship by winning the local final qualifying tournament in West Lancashire to be the only Kiwi in the field.

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