Mixed round sees Steve Alker drop down field

Last updated 19:20 22/07/2012
Steve Alker
Photosport
TOP SHOWING: After struggling on the web.com tour, Steve Alker has once again surprised by qualifying for a major, this year the US Open.

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Hamilton professional Steve Alker dropped to a share of 18th place at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes after carding a two-over par 72 in the third round. 

The 40-year-old, who was 11th at the halfway stage after two rounds of one under-par 69, fell seven places down the leaderboard in a round that included five bogeys and three birdies.

The Kiwi pro, who is on an even-par total, will begin the final round 11 shots back from Australian Adam Scott who holds a four-shot lead over Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and American Brandt Snedeker.

The 32-year-old Aussie, who finished joint runner-up at The Masters in 2011, is looking to win his first major championship and has his best chance after a superb two under par 68 in round three.

Alker, who was playing with World No 1 Luke Donald, got off to a poor start amongst the hysteria of the local fans when he bogeyed the opening par three. He got back to level par with a birdie at the seventh.

But the back nine, where Alker has played superbly this championship, saw the Kiwi make four bogeys and two birdies to drop out of contention.  

It is still been a fine week for the former New Zealand PGA Champion and a top 20 at a major championship would be a great result for Alker who had never made a cut previously at a major in his past two appearances at the Open in  1998 and 2007. 

Alker, who is 67th on the web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide Tour) Order of Merit, will tee off the final round at 12:35pm local time alongside England's James Morrison.

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- Fairfax Media

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