For Steven Alker, a charity golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club on Monday to kick off Galleri Classic week in Rancho Mirage speaks volumes about the PGA Tour Champions.
“Champions feels like more of an extended family out here, like a small family,” Alker said during a tournament featuring senior players and caddies to raise money in memory of Sam Workman, Alker’s caddie who died Feb. 6 from cancer. “We move together, and there was a lot of support when he was sick and when he passed so quickly. For people to come out and get behind this is fantastic.”
Workman, a long-time caddie on the Korn Ferry Tour, had worked for Alker since 2019. When Alker earned his playing card for the PGA Tour Champions, Workman came to the senior tour to continue working for Alker.
That team turned into the Cinderella story of 2022, with Alker, a life-long journeyman player, winning four times on tour and capturing the season-long Charles Schwab Cup. Workman was there for every step of the journey.
Then Alker announced in early February that Workman had terminal cancer. Just a week later, Workman passed away.
With the tour in Newport Beach last week for the Hoag Classic, just a short drive to the Coachella Valley for this week’s event, arrangements were made with Galleri Classic tournament director Michelle DeLancy to hold a tournament on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, the home course for the tournament this week.
“It wasn’t me, but a few players and a couple of caddies got the guys together, and I think we have a field of a little more than 60, which is amazing,” Alker said. “It just kind of shows how quickly Sam made friends out here and how influential he was.”
Alker was on the course with Michelle Workman, Sam’s sister, who expressed her appreciation for the players and caddies behind the event.
“It’s a great day, and to have Michelle here as well is wonderful,” Alker said.
Funds raised through the event will go to the First Tee of the Coachella Valley and the First Tee of San Antonio, where Workman lived.