Date: June 24, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Appleby best Aussie at Travelers

Ken Duke has broken through for his maiden PGA Tour victory, overcoming Chris Stroud in a play-off to win the Travelers Championship. In a dramatic finale, Stroud chipped in on the 18th hole to join Duke on 12 under for the tournament, forcing a play-off, and although the latter missed a putt for the championship on the opening extra hole, he made no mistake with his second opportunity. At 44 years of age, Duke became the oldest first-time winner on the PGA Tour in 18 years when he birdied the 18th on the second time of asking, while Stroud could only manage a par score to finish second. Canada&aposs Graham DeLaet, who started Sunday&aposs play in a tie for the lead, claimed third at 11 under overall, while his fellow overnight leader Bubba Watson slipped to fourth, a further shot back. The third overnight leader, Charley Hoffman, shot a two-over 72 to finish well off the pace at eight under overall. Duke started the day at sixth position on the leaderboard and made his move on the back nine at TPC River Highlands. The 44-year-old Arkansas-native birdied the second hole but burst into contention with additional birdies on the 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th to finish with a four-under 66. Stroud posted a three-under 67, including a birdie on the par-four 18th hole thanks to a 50-foot chip, which took him alongside Duke at 12 under for the tournament. The par returned to the 18th tee and both scored par first-up with Duke missing a 25-foot birdie putt. But on the second play-off hole, which was again held on the 18th, Duke made a three-foot birdie putt to overcome Stroud. Watson, who would have been considered favourite to take out the Travelers Championship heading into the final round, had a disastrous day, with two bogeys on the front nine and then a double-bogey six on the 16th hole to finish with an even-par 70. Stuart Appleby was the highest-placed Australian at seven under overall after a two-under 68 on Sunday, while Nick O&aposHern (five under) was even further back.