Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Dufner Is Spectacular in Grabbing PGA Lead ; Missed Putt Costs Him Record Score

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Dufner Is Spectacular in Grabbing PGA Lead ; Missed Putt Costs Him Record Score

Article excerpt

PITTSFORD, N. Y. - Nothing was dull about the way Jason Dufner played golf Friday at the PGA Championship. If anything, it was historic. Dufner holed out from the fairway for eagle, rolled in a putt across the green for par and kept making birdies until he stood 12 feet away from a shot at the lowest score in the 153 years of championship golf. One last birdie attempt didn't even get to the hole, and Dufner had to settle for a record-tying round of 7- under 63.

"Probably the worst putt I hit of the day, which is a little disappointing," Dufner said. "But all in all, it's a 63, and name on top of the leaderboard. So that's a great position to be playing form."

It was the third time in the last seven years at the PGA Championship that a player had a putt at becoming the first player to shoot 62 in a major. Tiger Woods circled the hole at Southern Hills in 2007. Steve Stricker narrowly missed at Atlanta Athletic Club two years ago.

Dufner didn't feel disappointed for long.

On a rain-softened Oak Hill, where pelt-sized divots were flying and birdies were falling, Dufner surged to a two-shot lead over Masters champion Adam Scott, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar. At 9-under 131, Dufner tied the 36-hole record at the PGA Championship he now shares with six other players.

Dufner was alone at the top, and in the company of some big names in history.

His 63 broke the course record at Oak Hill held by Ben Hogan, Curtis Strange and Webb Simpson, who shot 64 about five hours earlier. Dufner became the 24th player to shoot 63 in a major - Greg Norman and Vijay Singh, both in the Hall of Fame, did it twice.

And through it all, he barely cracked a smile.

"He's very calm," said Stricker, who played alongside Dufner. "I'm sure he was churning on the inside. He just told me while we were signing our cards, he was like, 'This is a lot for a Friday. …

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