This weekend the PGA Travelers Championship ended in a classic way — with a playoff round, and a bit of personal history for the victor.
Chris Stroud, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose were all in contention for the win going into Sunday’s match but it really came down to a match between Ken Duke and Watson. Rose put in a fair showing, shooting 6-under, but with three bogeys and only three birdies, he clearly wasn’t as focused as he was during his U.S. Open win a few weeks ago.
It looked throughout much of the day like this one was Watson’s to win, but he ran into trouble on the 16th, shooting a six on the par-three. Duke meanwhile found a tree to be his good luck charm on the 10th, after his ball ricocheted off one and fell onto the green, mere feet away from the hole. That put him as one of the front-runners in the championship, and after he easily sank his putt on the 18th, he and the crowd both thought he had it. That was, until Stroud chipped his in on the last hole to force a playoff.
That playoff consisted of two holes that felt like a lifetime to those watching. Stroud and Duke both put in a huge effort, and made it impossible to tell who would emerge as the winner. When Stroud missed his 25-foot putt for birdie though, he could only watch as Duke sank a short putt.
This is the first PGA win in his 187th PGA start for Ken Duke, and he’s in good company. Six other golfers have claimed their first PGA win here in the last eight years — one of them being Bubba Watson.