How it happened: Duke holds off Stroud for first Tour title

Ken Duke watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship.

Ken Duke watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship.

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RBC Heritage

Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

9:37:45 AM ET. 04/17/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
T1Jeff Maggert-310-3
T1Rory Sabbatini-37-3
T3Vaughn Taylor-27-2
T3Billy Horschel-26-2
T3Chesson Hadley-25-2
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Ken Duke, 44, applied the pressure at the turn and never looked back, holding off Chris Stroud on the second hole of a playoff to win his first PGA Tour title on Sunday at the Travelers Championship.

Duke fired a 4-under 66 to vault past Bubba Watson over the final nine holes -- with Watson helping with a triple-bogey 6 at the par-3 16th -- and then hitting his approach shot at No. 18 to 2 feet on the second hole of the playoff.

Stroud forced the playoff with a dramatic chip-in birdie on No. 18 to tie Duke at 12 under in regulation.

See how it all unfolded on Sunday:

• • •

Update No. 33: 6:20 p.m. EDT

PLAYOFF, SECOND HOLE: PAR-4 18TH

Off the tee: Another bomb here for Chris Stroud, leaving another sand wedge. Ken Duke finds the fairway, coming up just short of the cart path that runs across the fairway.

Approach shot: Ken Duke applies the pressure here, landing his less than 2 feet from the hole. Stroud hits a solid shot, but will have 20 feet for birdie. A likely must-make.

On the green: Stroud gives it a chance, but his birdie putt slides by on the right and he taps in for a par. Duke does not miss and he wins his first PGA Tour title at the age of 44.

• • •

Update No. 32: 6:13 p.m. EDT

PLAYOFF, FIRST HOLE: PAR-4 18TH

Off the tee: Chris Stroud bombs his ball down the throat of the fairway to set up a sand wedge into the green. Ken Duke sends his left, but it skips out of a fairway bunker and into the rough.

Approach shots: Duke hits a solid shot that finds the green, leaving himself 30 feet for birdie. Stroud his a poor shot that finds a greenside bunker on the right.

Around the green: Stroud blasts his third shot to about 5 feet right of the hole.

On the green: Duke nearly drains his long birdie attempt, settling 3 inches away and he taps in for par. Stroud matches the par putt and they'll head to a second playoff hole.

• • •

Update No. 31: 5:54 p.m. EDT

Graham DeLaet gets about 4 feet from joining the playoff, nearly holing out from the fairway at No. 18 and instead settles for solo third place at 11 under after his closing birdie.

• • •

Update No. 30: 5:46 p.m. EDT

Well, not so fast. Chris Stroud bombs a drive, hits his second shot just off the back of the green and then pitches in for birdie to tie Ken Duke at 12 under, setting up a playoff for the title.

• • •

Update No. 29: 5:38 p.m. EDT

Ken Duke flirts with disaster off the tee at 18, sending it well right and into the long rough on the other side of the gallery. He manages to get it out cleanly and it bounds up the left side of the fairway and to the side of the green. Duke putts it out, putting his third shot to about 2 feet left of the hole and knocking in his par attempt to finish at 12 under.

• • •

Update No. 28: 5:35 p.m. EDT

Both Chris Stroud (11 under) and Bubba Watson (10 under) two-putt for par from 40 feet on No. 17. Watson is going to need something very special on 18 to make anything happen.

• • •

Update No. 27: 5:21 p.m. EDT

Ken Duke two-putts for par at the par-4 17th to move to the 18th at 12 under, one shot clear of Graham DeLaet and Chris Stroud.

• • •

Update No. 26: 5:17 p.m. EDT

Disadvantage, Bubba.

Bubba Watson comes up short of the par-3 16th, finding the water. His third shot doesn't find the green, his fourth skirts about 20 feet past and then he two-putts for a triple bogey to fall back to 10 under, two shots behind Ken Duke.

Chris Stroud and Graham DeLaet are both at 11 under.

• • •

Update No. 25: 5:06 p.m. EDT

Advantage, Bubba.

Bubba Watson flirts with disaster on the par-4 15th, coming up just short of the water on the drivable par-4, knocking his chip to about 6 feet to the right of the hole and then draining the putt to move to 13 under, one shot clear of the field with three holes to play.

• • •

Update No. 24: 5 p.m. EDT

Ken Duke is not going away without a fight.

The veteran hits a fantastic approach into the par-4 15th and drains a 4-footer for birdie to move back to 12 under, tied with Bubba Watson for the lead.

Duke has missed more cuts than he has made in 2013, missing 10 and making nine (including the Travelers).

• • •

Update No. 23: 4:51 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson isn't making this easy on himself.

After splitting the fairway at the par-4 14th, Watson overshoots the green and settles in some gnarly rough, also short-siding himself. His chip shot runs a bit hot by the hole, leaving himself 8 feet to save par. The left-to-right bender finds the cup to keep Watson at 12 under, one shot clear of Ken Duke and Graham DeLaet.

• • •

Update No. 22: 4:37 p.m. EDT

After finding a fairway bunker off the tee at the par-5 13th, Bubba Watson lays up, but hits a fantastic third shot to about 3 feet left of the pin, which he drains to move to 12 under and is tied with Ken Duke for the lead.

• • •

Update No. 21: 4:27 p.m. EDT

Ken Duke nearly overshoots the green with his third shot at the par-5 13th, but makes a 50-footer for birdie coming back down the green to take the outright lead at 12 under.

Meanwhile, Graham DeLaet has joined Bubba Watson at 11 under with an 18-footer for birdie at No. 12.

• • •

Update No. 20: 4:21 p.m. EDT

With less than 100 yards left into the par-4 12th, Bubba Watson hits a poor shot that fails to hit the green and settles in the short grass about 40 feet right of the hole. He does manage to get up-and-down to stay in the co-lead at 11 under, but may come to regret no birdie from inside 100 yards.

• • •

Update No. 19: 4:08 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson misses a nice opportunity to take the outright lead, missing a 12-footer at the par-3 11th and remains at 11 under, tied with Ken Duke atop the leaderboard.

Watson has not won on Tour since his victory at the Masters in 2012.

• • •

Update No. 18: 4:01 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson finds the left side of the fairway at No. 10, hits a moonshot into the green and leaves himself 18 feet for birdie, which he buries to move to 11 under.

Moments later, Ken Duke joins him in the lead with a 12-footer on No. 11.

• • •

Update No. 17: 3:55 p.m. EDT

Birdies are starting to flow at the Travelers, as there is now a five-way tie for the lead after J.J. Henry makes a 6-footer for birdie on No. 12 and Graham DeLaet buries a 12-footer on No. 9 to both jump to 10 under with Bubba Watson, Chris Stroud and Ken Duke.

• • •

Update No. 16: 3:48 p.m. EDT

After a big tee ball at the par-4 9th, Bubba Watson hits a poor approach shot from about 130 yards that finds greenside rough to the right of the hole. He has to take a big swing at it, barely gets it on the green, but it trickles to the hole and falls in to get the bomber back to 10 under, now in a three-way tie for the lead.

Chris Stroud misses a 10-footer on No. 9 and stays at 10 under, while Ken Duke gets help from the trees on No. 10, knocking the ball onto the green off the limbs and making a 5-footer to move into a share of the lead.

• • •

Update No. 15: 3:37 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson misses the green at the par-3 8th and seems tentative over his chip shot from the fringe, leaving it about 8 feet under the hole. His putt looks to be on line, but doesn't have enough pace and cuts under the hole and the 2012 Masters champ moves back to 9 under.

That leaves Chris Stroud in the lead after a simple two-putt par at No. 8. Stroud has missed five cuts of the 16 tournaments he has finished this season, with a T-6 at the RBC Heritage his best finish. He also picked up a T-7 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

• • •

Update No. 14: 3:26 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson moves into the clubhouse at 9 under after a birdie at the par-4 18th, completing a 5-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead.

Simpson still trails Bubba Watson and Chris Stroud, who are both at 10 under through seven holes of play on Sunday.

While Simpson hasn't won since the 2012 U.S. Open, he has had a pair of solid showings in 2013, including a playoff loss to Graeme McDowell at the RBC Heritage and a T-6 finish at Northern Trust.

• • •

Update No. 13: 3:08 p.m. EDT

Leader Graham DeLaet adds a par at No. 5 to remain 10 under and in the lead by a shot over Ken Duke, Chris Stroud and Bubba Watson. DeLaet has three top-10 finishes this season.

Justin Rose suffers his first bogey of the day at No. 9, slipping into the group at 8 under.

• • •

Update No. 12: 3:03 p.m. EDT

Third-round co-leader Charley Hoffman bogeys again to slip to 8 under, in a 7-way tie for sixth with Webb Simpson, Jim Herman, Ryan Moore, Russell Knox, Nick O'Hern and Patrick Reed.

• • •

Update No. 11: 2:57 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson bogeys the 4th hole to slip to the T-2 group at 9 under alongside Ken Duke, Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose and Chris Stroud.

Graham DeLaet is alone in the lead, with pars on his first three holes today to remain 10 under.

• • •

Update No. 10: 2:51 p.m. EDT

Let's recap how the top finishers in last week's U.S. Open who entered this week's tournament have been faring this week:

  • Justin Rose, winner: 9 under and T-2 with 11 to play.
  • Jason Dufner, T-4: Missed cut at 1 over.
  • Hunter Mahan, T-4: 6 under and T-19 with 11 to play.
  • Nicolas Colsaerts, T-10: Missed cut at 4 over.
  • Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, T-10: Missed cut at 1 over.
  • Rickie Fowler, T-10: 6 under and T-18 after final-round 64.

• • •

Update No. 9: 2:39 p.m. EDT

Padraig Harrington is 5 over through eight holes to drop from contention to T-50 at 1 under.

• • •

Update No. 8: 2:18 p.m. EDT

Charley Hoffman bogeys the first to drop to a four-way tie for third at 9 under.

• • •

Update No. 7: 2:11 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson gets to 8 under with a birdie at No. 12, T-7 with six to play.

• • •

Update No. 6: 2:02 p.m. EDT

Ken Duke birdies No. 2 to pull within a shot of the leaders and get to 9 under. He's tied with Nick O'Hern and Chris Stroud, who are even par early today.

• • •

Update No. 5: 1:55 p.m. EDT

Brendan Steele is 4 under despite three bogeys today, his seven birdies getting him to 6 under and T-21 as he heads to the 18th tee. Gary Christian shot a 4-under 66 earlier today after starting the day at even par, rising 29 spots to T-30.

Co-leader Bubba Watson misses the fairway with his first shot of the day, while Graham DeLaet and Charley Hoffman tee off shortly.

• • •

Update No. 4: 1:49 p.m. EDT

Jim Herman pulls within two shots of the lead with a birdie at the par-4 2nd that gets him to 8 under. That score is good for T-6 alongside Ken Duke, who just started his round; Ricky Barnes, 4 under through 10 holes; and Patrick Reed, 3 under through seven.

• • •

Update No. 3: 1:42 p.m. EDT

The PGA Tour says that co-leader Bubba Watson is better on the par-5s at TPC River Highlands than anyone else since 2006 – checking in at a whopping 35 under. That's six shots better than Vijay Singh's 29 under (he's T-35 and 3 under with seven to play) and Hunter Mahan's 25 under (T-9 and 7 under with 16 to play).

• • •

Update No. 2: 1:34 p.m. EDT

Webb Simpson gets to 7 under and T-9 with a birdie at the 10th. He's got four birdies today since bogeying the first. Stuart Appleby birdies the 2nd to also get to 7 under.

• • •

Update No. 1: 1:29 p.m. EDT

U.S. Open champion Justin Rose starts his day with a par. Hunter Mahan, who finished T-4 at the U.S. Open and opened the week here with 62, also starts with a par.

• • •

Early risers

Angel Cabrera shot 63 to move into the group at 7 under, as have Keegan Bradley and Russell Knox through eight and four holes respectively; Jeff Maggert and Ryan Moore through three and two holes as well.

Ricky Barnes and Patrick Reed have improved to 8 under throught eight and five holes respectively.

Rickie Fowler shot 64 to move to 6 under.

• • •

Slow starters

Lee Westwood is 8 over today through 15 holes, with four bogeys and two double bogeys on his front nine followed by a bogey at No. 13 and a birdie at No. 15. He's 7 over for the tournament, having dropped 24 spots today.

Casey Wittenberg is 6 over through 14 today, with four bogeys and a double bogey.

• • •

Weather conditions

Expect no issues here today, with dry conditions and a high temperature in the upper 80s today, according to Weather.com; winds will be in the low teens.

• • •

Saturday coverage

• 5 Things: Hoffman has been here before, reminded of '12 collapse

"He didn’t play bad, but bad things happened when he missed a shot,” Bubba Watson's caddie said of his third round that saw him slip to a 3-way tie for the lead with Graham DeLaet and Charley Hoffman. DeLaet got to 10-under by sharing the low round of the day, a 65, while Hoffman – the first-round leader thanks to a 61 – put himself there with a 66.

• How it Happened: Watson in 3-way tie for Travelers lead after third round

Low numbers returned Saturday at the Travelers Championship. But unfortunately for the players in the top two groups, red numbers didn't come their way. See the highlights of how it unfolded.

• • •

Friday coverage

5 Things: Watson moves to top; winds challenge field; more

Bubba Watson claims the Travelers Championship lead after 36 holes, while winds pick up to challenge the field and plenty of action around the cut line provides extra intrigue. Jim McCabe has 5 Things to Know after the second round.

How it Happened: Watson leads Travelers after two rounds

Bubba Watson shot 3-under 67 on Friday to move to 10 under, while first-round leader Charley Hoffman slipped by following his opening 61 with a second-round 73 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. Watson leads Patrick Reed and Padraig Harrington by two shots. Hunter Mahan slid after an opening-round 62 as well.

Third-round tee times, pairings

Leader Bubba Watson will be in one of several interesting groups for Saturday's third round – see some of the pairings that could earn the spotlight, plus complete tee times.

• • •

Thursday coverage

5 Things: Mahan picks up where he left off

The first round of the Travelers Championship was filled with smiles, laugher and goodwill as the scoring was low at TPC River Highlands after high scores last week at the U.S. Open at Merion. Here are 5 Things you need to know from Cromwell, Conn.

How it happened: Hoffman fires 61, leads by 1

Charley Hoffman fired an opening-round bogey-free 61 at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship and leads by one over Hunter Mahan at TPC River Highlands. See how it happened with our Tour Tracker

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

Mahan leads predictions for Travelers Championships

Excuse the golf world as it recovers from its U.S. Open hangover, but it will need to shake off the cobwebs quickly as an impressive field will tee it up this week at the Travelers Championship. It is Hunter Mahan that a pair of our fantasy panelists believe will recover from his late fall down the leaderboard at Merion to capture his second Travelers title.

Thomas, former college trio set for pro starts this week

Alabama junior Justin Thomas and former Washington standout Chris Williams are set to play in this week's Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on unrestricted sponsor exemptions. Across the pond, Brandon Stone and Pontus Widegren will make their professional debuts this week on the European Tour.

Tee times, pairings for first round of Travelers Championship

See the complete groups for the first and second rounds of the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship – when U.S. Open champ Justin Rose plays, and with whom, along with Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood and more stars.

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