2013 PGA Champion
Jason Dufner found redemption from a memorable collapse at a major championship, performing like he was playing a game that has few flaws, and won the 95the PGA Championship, Aug. 11, at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y.
Two years ago, Dufner squandered a four-stroke lead at Atlanta Athletic Club by failing to close the door on his opponents. At that time, he never won on the PGA Tour or made the top 30 on the money list. At age 36, playing in all four majors for just the second time, Dufner made the most of his opportunities at Oak Hill, which had surrendered just 10 players under par in the previous major championships conducted on the East Course.
The sting of losing at Atlanta subsided, and Dufner was not about to fall into a similar situation when battling for the lead. He produced a near-flawless second-round 7-under-par 63, which was the 26th round of 63 in a major and snatched the 36-hole lead. Trailing Furyk by one stroke to open the final round, Dufner put on a clinic in ballstriking, once reaching 12-under-par through 16 holes, before closing with a pair of bogeys.
No challenger made up the necessary ground once Dufner opened a small crack in the door. Furyk finished runner-up after an even-par 70. Furyk praised Dufner's performance.
"He didn't miss very many fairways, and he hit some really good iron shots. I look back to his hitting it a foot on 5, 8 and 16. I mean, tap in birdies," said Furyk. "So pass that down the stretch, he I hit some really good shots. He drove it right down the middle on 16, hit it a foot. Drove it right down the middle on 17, knocked it on the green, tough hole and hit a pretty darned good drive on 18. It's just hard to hit the fairway and kicked right into the rough for him. He hit the ball in play very solidly and made enough putts to separate himself from the field."
Sweden' s duo of Henrik Stenson and Jonas Blixt, attempting to make history themselves by giving their homeland its first male major champion, finished a respective third and fourth, with each posting 70s. Scott Piercy, who sizzled on Sunday with a 65, and Scott, who had a 70, tied for fifth at 275. Rory McIlroy, who lost the form that produced a record PGA triumph a year ago, tied for eighth after a 70 and 277.
Dufner revealed that he has received a share of needling from Bradley on Twitter over the last two years. That all factored into his appreciating his win at Oak Hill.
"He always jabbed at me a little bit about having one of these in his house," Dufner said, sitting next to the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy. "And now I've got one, too. It's pretty neat to come back and win a PGA, to be honest with you."
Dufner will defend his title in the 96th PGA Championship, Aug. 8-10, 2014, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
For a complete history of the PGA Championship, click here.