Ken Duke proved again that when it comes to breakthroughs, it’s better late than never.
By winning the Travelers Championship on Sunday, in a playoff over Chris Stroud, the 44-year-old Duke became the oldest first-time PGA Tour winner in 18 years. His long-awaited title also corresponded with a huge move in the world rankings, rising from 144th to a career-high 70th. (He was No. 71 in November 2008.)
But Duke wasn’t the only big winner in Hartford, at least when it comes to rankings.
Stroud, who forced a playoff with a dramatic chip-in on the 72nd hole, ascended from 187th to 111th. Graham DeLaet, who was solo third, jumped from 102nd to 74th.
Across the pond, Ernie Els’ 28th European Tour title moved him from No. 20 to No. 14, his highest position since the 2011 Masters.
Brooks Koepka, the 23-year-old former All-American at Florida State, is all the way up to No. 122 after his third European Challenge Tour victory of the season.
Meanwhile, the top 10 (actually, the top 13) remained unchanged from a week ago: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen.