The inaugural Cleveland Open just didn’t seem to end. That’s thanks to Steve Alker and Dawie van der Walt.
The pair set the Web.com Tour record for the longest playoff in tour history, going 11 holes to decide the title at Lakewood Country Club. On the 11th hole of the playoff — the fifth sudden-death crack at the 18th hole — Alker made the first and only birdie of the playoff to take the title.
Alker closed with 6-under 65, one better than van der Walt (66), to tie at 14-under 270. In the extra nine and then some that’s taken shape, the first 10 holes of the playoff have been halved with pars. The duo played the 18th hole first, before going into a three-hole loops of holes 16-18.
Alker could have avoided the whole mess were it not for consecutive bogeys to close the tournament.
This is the longest playoff in Web.com Tour history, surpassing the nine-hole mark set by the Eric Booker-Notah Begay III playoff for the 1998 Lehigh Valley Open and the Gary Christin-Mathias Gronberg showdown for the 2009 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic.
It also could set the longest playoff record in men’s competitive golf history, tying the 11 holes Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum played before declaring themselves co-champions of the 1949 Motor City Open.