Jason Dufner wins PGA Championship
Jason Dunfer played the round of his life on Sunday at Oak Hill to take home the 2013 Wanamaker trophy.
Usually at majors there are a half dozen storylines to follow as the back nine unfolds on a Sunday. Think back to the first three majors of 2013 -- each one of them had so many rabbit trails it took hours to sort through all of it.
On Sunday at Oak Hill, there was only one: Jason Dufner shot an incredible 68 to beat Jim Furyk by two and win his first major championship.
He was locked in from start to finsih. Nobody lost this tournament -- not Jim Furyk, not Henrik Stenson, not Adam Scott -- Dufner took it by the throat and squeezed the life out of it. His iron play was good enough on Sunday to make the ghost of Ben Hogan a little bit moist around the eyes -- it's a good thing too because his putter was as shaky as my hands after nine cups of coffee during the British Open.
It didn't matter though because Dufner only had to hit two and three-foot birdie putts -- only on one or two occasions did he need to sink anything longer than that. Tiger Woods' kid could have kicked in 90 percent of Dufner's pars.
Here's a look at his approach on No. 8 which resulted in a birdie:
See what I mean?
The obvious narrative for Dufner is that this PGA Championship is redemption for the one in 2011 when he lost to his buddy (and prank-pulling partner) Keegan Bradley in a playoff.
Dufner's card on Sunday was as clean as they come as he went out in 32 and came home with only two bogeys -- but the tournament was over by then. It was pretty much the exact opposite of 2011.
After his round Dufner told CBS he wasn't thinking about the 2011 collapse.
"I just decided that I was going to be confident, and really put my best foot forward and try to win this thing."
He definitely did that. His 68 felt like a 58 given the circumstances.
Dufner's scores for this year's PGA Championship look like this:
With that record-tying 63 Dufner becomes just the fifth man to shoot 63 in one of his first three rounds of a major and go on to win. The other four are Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, and Tiger Woods.
According to Justin Ray of ESPN Dufner is the 15th different first-time major winner since Lucas Glover won the 2009 US Open.
That's fitting too since the PGA Tour has seen 11 different first-time winners this year. It's not Dufner's first ever win but it is his first of 2013 after winning twice in 2012.
It's a bit strange, too, that Dufner is 36-years-old (just 14 months younger than Tiger Woods) and that his career is blooming this late. He'll take it though and (as Shane Bacon noted) he'll take those three top fives at the PGA Championship in the last four years and run away with them.
He'll take that Wanamaker Trophy too -- the one he thought his name was going on in 2011 but will have it instead in 2013.
I can only imagine the pranks he'll pull on Bradley with it.
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