Duke Comes Up Just Short


Canadian Tour-LargeCORONADO, Panama--Canadian Tour star Ken Duke finished runner-up to fellow American Charles Warren today as the Samsung Panama Open wrapped up at Coronado Hotel and Resort.
Duke, the 1999 Order of Merit champion, carded a final-round 1-under 71 for a 72-hole total of 3-under 285, one shot back of Warren. Defending MTS Classic champion Alex Quiroz would up in a tie for fourth at 1-under 287, while Mario Tiziani, who won this event in 2002, was eighth.
Warren almost let the win slip through his fingers with a near-disastrous double-bogey on the final hole but held on to collect the $40,000 US winners cheque. Duke had eagled the par-5 13th to climb within striking distance, but his tee-shot on the par-3 16th found water, denying him a chance to climb into the lead. Warren looked like he would coast to the win before a poor bunker shot, a chip and a two-putt on the final hole made things interesting. After missing a three-footer for bogey, Warren drained another three-footer coming back to seal the triumph.
I played steadily all week, said Duke, who earned exempt status on the Nationwide Tour this season after advancing to the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying. (I) only three-putted once during the four rounds, which was great considering the wind and how fast the greens had become. But I made that one major error at the 16th and it cost me. Luckily I managed to birdie the 18th and that was a sweet way to end what in all respects for me was a great week and a good start to the new season.