PGA: Duke earns first PGA win at Travelers


Tue, Jun 25, 2013 - Page 19

Ken Duke notched his first career PGA Tour title in his 187th start by beating Chris Stroud with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Travelers Championship on Sunday.

The 44-year-old became the oldest first-time winner in 18 years when he claimed victory by sinking a two-foot birdie putt after fellow American Stroud’s long birdie try trickled just past the hole on the 18th green.

Both players parred the 18th in the first hole of sudden-death before returning to the 18th tee for the decider at the TPC River Highlands.

Duke is now the oldest first-time winner on the tour since Ed Dougherty, who was 47 when he won the 1995 Deposit Guaranty Classic.

Stroud, who was also chasing his maiden victory, forced the playoff by chipping in from across the green for a birdie after sending his approach shot long after blasting a drive of about 340 yards.

Duke fired a final-round of four-under-par 66 and Stroud posted 67 to tie on 12-under-par 268.

Graham DeLaet of Canada finished one stroke out of the playoff on 269 after shooting 69.

Another stroke back after a 70 was last year’s Masters champion Bubba Watson, who relinquished the lead to Duke with a triple-bogey six on the par-three 16th.

Duke became emotional when asked about his improvement under swing coach Bob Toski.

“I wouldn’t be here without him, no question. I talked to him this morning and he said: ‘It’s about time for you to win,’” Duke said, choking up. “And I did.”