June 26 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- More people were watching than Ken Duke thought.
After Duke won the Travelers Championship on Sunday the text messages started pouring in. Jack Nicklaus. Charles Barkley. Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen. Members of Rascal Flats. Never mind fellow players, friends, family and Vice President of Augusta National Joe Ford.
"You don't really realize that people are really watching you," Duke said. "But it feels great just to kind of feel like I'm in."
In the club of winners on TOUR, that is. It's the one thing the 44-year-old told his wife he wanted to do before his career is over.
The victory also set off a long-planned celebration for Duke, who carried a bottle of Coca-Cola in his bag, ready to shake it up and spray it all over if he ever won.
"Probably been drinking a little too many," Duke said. "So my trainer has been on me about cutting them out.
"My caddie and I joked around the last few years, if I ever win, I'm going to have a bottle of Coke or a can of Coke and take a drink out of it because we're big NASCAR fans and you see that on NASCAR."
In return, Duke received a care package from the beverage company at this week's AT&T National, where after getting his first win in 187 starts hopes Dukes hopes to carry the momentum to Congressional.
In Duke's easier, that will be "easy."
"You don't have any expectations now," he said.
Earlier this year, Duke arrived at Murifield Village with the same thought and went on to tie for 16th.
"I think my caddie and I will be talking about what happened last week and probably not focus on this week, but sometimes that's good because you don't think about what's going on," Duke said. "You just go have fun. Everyone's going to say, 'I hope he wins again.' Well, I do too."