2013 US PGA Tour wrap-up
AMERICAN Jason Dufner said one of his best weeks of ball striking led to him winning his first major, the US PGA at Oak Hill, by two strokes today.
The Cleveland native finished 68 and -2 for the day, for an overall 270, to finish ahead of countryman Jim Furyk.
It was simply Dufner's day, with his fourth birdie of the afternoon at the 16th putting him well in control.
"For me to be competitive on this type of golf course, I felt like I had to have a great week ball striking and I was able to do it," he said.
"I hit a lot of fairways, I wasn't in the thick, thick stuff, so I could manage to get to the greens."
Dufner showed a great deal of composure, and not just in the heat of battle, but in celebrating his first major title too.
His caddie Kevin Baile believes the only time he has seen Dufner nervous was for his wedding, which the 36-year-old tried to play down.
"I was pretty nervous on that first three-footer today," Dufner said.
"But I come across as a pretty cool customer I guess. But there are definitely signs of nerves out there, especially when you're trying to win a major championship."
Dufner admitted he wasn't always in control - he shot a shaky 71 (+1) on Saturday, after a course record-breaking 63 (-7) on Friday, which included five birdies and an eagle.
It also tied him for the lowest score ever for one day in a major.
"Yesterday was tough. I came off an unbelievable round on Friday, and yesterday was tough for me. I had some shaky moments," he said.
Dufner and his wife Amanda's memories of this week will only grow fonder through time - literally.
They took some acorns from the course and will plant them on their property.
"It's amazing. We purchased about 50 acres a couple of years ago. We are currently building a home on it," he said.
"So we'll have plenty of space to grow the trees and hopefully they will take root."
Furyk conceded Dufner deserved his win after going into the day as the one-stroke leader, before his three bogeys overrode his two birdies.
"I'm disappointed I didn't win the golf tournament, because I really felt like I played well enough to do so," Furyk said.
"But I have a lot of respect for the way Jason played and the way he struck the ball."
Besides Adam Scott's fifth place, fellow Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman were also impressive today.
Day moved up 13 places with a three-under 67 to finish tied eighth, while Leishman, who told APN he was aiming for a finish inside the top 10 yesterday, almost achieved that aim.
He finished in equal 12th after his two-under 68 moved him up nine spots.