Strong finishing Clarke takes fourth as Duke claims maiden Champions Tour win in dramatic finish

Rian Noctor

Ken Duke (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Darren Clarke shot a brilliant seven-under-par 63, including an eagle on 18, to finish in a tie for fourth place as Ken Duke took home the victory at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary.

Clarke started with a birdie on the first and followed it with birdies on the third and sixth to turn in 32. The 2011 Open champion started the back nine with two birdies in a row before finishing in style with an eagle on 18 for an 11-under total, three behind Duke.

Duke won for the first time on PGA TOUR Champions in his 100th start, rolling in a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Tim Petrovic and Thongchai Jaidee by a single stroke.


“This is exciting. I mean, I’ve always dreamed about this,” Duke, 54, said. “This is where I started my professional career up here in Canada and I always thought that I’d win up here, and here we are. I mean, 1996 to 2003, so here we are finally doing it at the Shaw Charity Classic presented by Rogers in Calgary”.

Petrovic was seeking his first Champions Tour victory as well, and he entered the day at 12-under-par and with a two-stroke lead over Duke. They were playing in the final group together.

But for much of the back nine, they both trailed Thongchai Jaidee. The native of Thailand started the final round seven shots behind Petrovic, but he blistered the Canyon Meadows course with an eight-under 62 to reach 13 under.

Duke and Petrovic were tied for the lead heading to the par-5 18th. Petrovic made a mistake, laying up into the rough and the best he could do was leave 40 feet for birdie from a poor lie.

Duke had 105 yards and as soon as he hit it exclaimed, “Be the one!” The ball flew just over the flag and spun back below the hole.

“I had 105 yards. That’s exactly the number I had at Hartford in 2013 when I won in a playoff against Chris Stroud,” Duke said. “All it was was a 52 (degree) sand wedge, just hitting the range shot and just focusing on it and just doing that. A great memory of that win, and obviously I hit a good shot here as well.”

It set the stage for Duke, whose lone win on the PGA TOUR had come at the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013. He stroked the putt and with the ball still a foot away, he knew it was in and had already started transitioning into a full-blown fist pump.


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One response to “Strong finishing Clarke takes fourth as Duke claims maiden Champions Tour win in dramatic finish”

  1. Informatika avatar

    In a thrilling conclusion, how did Clarke’s strong performance help Duke secure their first-ever Champions Tour victory, and what made the finish so dramatic? We’ve recently updated our website with new features and content. Telkom University

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