Duke earns first win in Travelers playoff|
Cromwell, CT (Sports Network) - Ken Duke birdied the second playoff hole
Sunday to defeat Chris Stroud and win the Travelers Championship.
Duke closed with a 4-under 66 to get in first at 12-under-par 268. In the next
group, Chris Stroud chipped in for birdie to tie Duke at minus-12. The closing
birdie gave Stroud a round of 67 at TPC River Highlands.
The pair returned to the 18th for the playoff. Duke found the putting surface
with his approach before Stroud dumped his into a bunker. Stroud blasted to
six feet and then watched as Duke 2-putted for par.
Stroud drained his par effort to extend the playoff.
They played the 18th again. After they both found the fairway off the tee,
Duke stuffed his approach within two feet of the cup. Stroud knocked his
second to about 25 feet and 2-putted for par.
Duke kicked in his short birdie effort to earn his first PGA Tour title.
"I've worked hard. I had a great session with Mr. Toski last week," Duke said
of his coach Bob Toski, who won this title in 1953. "I've knocked on the door
a lot, but this is what it's all about."
Graham DeLaet managed a 1-under 69 to end one back at minus-11. Bubba Watson
triple-bogeyed the 16th to drop back to 10-under par. He parred the last three
to wrap up a round of 70.
Webb Simpson (65) and J.J. Henry (68) shared fifth at 9-under-par 271.
U.S. Open champion Justin Rose tripped to 1-over 71 that left him tied for
13th at minus-6.
Watson and Stroud were among those battling for the lead on the front nine.
Watson, who had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, birdied the
10th, 13th and 15th to move one clear at 13-under. However, he dumped his tee
shot at the par-3 16th in the water and that led to a triple bogey, which
dropped him to 10-under.
Duke played the front nine in 1-under with a birdie at the second to go with
eight pars. He flew up the leaderboard with three birdies in a 4-hole span
from the 10th to get to 12-under.
"I got an unbelievable break on 10," said Duke, as his approach bounced off a
tree to within six feet of the hole.
The 44-year-old stumbled to a bogey at the 14th, but bounced back with a 6-
foot birdie putt at the 15th to get back to minus-12. He calmly parred the
last three, then waited to see what would happen.
Stroud birdied the par-5 sixth to move to 10-under. He parred the other eight
holes on the front nine.
Around the turn, Stroud birdied the 15th to get within one. He parred his next
two holes, then knocked his approach just over the green at the last. Stroud
chipped in for birdie to force the extra session.
"I hit three really good shots in the playoff, but it wasn't enough. Congrats
to Ken Duke," Stroud said
NOTES: Duke earned $1.098 million for the win ... This was Duke's first tour
win and it came in his 187th career tour start ... He was the sixth first-time
winner in the last eight years at this event ... Duke is the 10th first-time
winner of the season on the PGA Tour ... Watson fell to 1-5 when leading after
54 holes ... Last year's winner Marc Leishman closed with a 73 to end in a
share of 30th at 3-under 277 ... The PGA Tour heads to Washington, DC, for the
AT&T National, where last year's champ Tiger Woods will not defend his title
due to an elbow injury.
06/23 20:17:44 ET