Golf: Journeyman Duke wins playoff for 1st title

2013-06-24T00:00:00Z Golf: Journeyman Duke wins playoff for 1st titleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
June 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CROMWELL, Conn. - Ken Duke needed 187 starts on the PGA Tour to get his first win, securing it at a tournament that is building a reputation for such breakthroughs.

The 44-year-old journeyman made a 2 1/2-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to beat Chris Stroud at the Travelers Championship.

Stroud, who also was looking for his first title, had chipped in from 51 feet on the 18th hole, to get to 12 under and force the playoff.

But Duke made the better approach shot on the second extra hole, bouncing his ball in front of the flag and rolling it close.

"Yeah, it's been a long time," said Duke, who turned pro in 1994. "I've been on the Canadian tour, the mini tours, Asian Tour, South American Tour, all of them; Web.com, and it's just great to be a part of this big family on the PGA Tour."

Duke, who came in ranked 144th in the world, is the sixth golfer in eight years to get his first PGA Tour win at the Travelers.

"You gotta believe in yourself in everything you do," Duke said. "That's why those guys at the top are winning week in, week out because they believe they can do it. It's kind of one of those things once you finally do it it might come easier the next time."

LPGA Tour

ROGERS, Ark. - World No. 1 Inbee Park sank a 4-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole against So Yeon Ryu, capping her final-round rally and winning the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship.

The victory is the second straight for Park, who won the LPGA Championship two weeks ago, and the fifth of the year for the South Korean star. She now has seven wins in her last 23 starts.

Champions Tour

GLENVIEW, Ill. - Craig Stadler birdied four of the first six holes, then hung on to win the Encompass Championship by one stroke over Fred Couples by sinking a par-saving 12-foot putt on the final hole. Stadler's eight years and almost nine months between victories is the longest stretch in Champions Tour history. Stadler shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 13-under 203.

European Tour

MUNICH - Ernie Els of South Africa won the BMW International Open by one shot for his 28th European Tour title. He closed with a third straight 3-under 69 to finish at 18-under 270 on the Eichenried Golf Club course. Thomas Bjorn shot a 69 and finished a stroke back.

Local holes-in-one

Jean Bender

• June 22, The Highlands at Dove Mountain, No. 12, 105 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Susan Keating, Judy Mejeur, Rita Wilcox.

Wayne Caulfield

• June 20, Starr Pass, No. 8 (Rattler), 156 yards, 6-iron. Witness: Alan Klein.

Donal Cook

• June 15, Forty Niner CC, No. 10, 128 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Larry Phipps, Dennis Haight.

Rose Farina

• June 20, El Conquistador, No. 8 (Cañada). Witnesses: Barb Tujo, Connie Chase, Pat Krueger.

Gary Panitz

• June 16, Dell Urich, No. 17, 100 yards, wedge. Witnesses: Matt Bartberger, Murt Weitzel, Chris Weitzel.

Jim Wells

• June 17, Omni Tucson National, No. 6, 148 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Jim Paterson, Chandler Lewis, Larry Helminen.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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