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Jason Dufner Wins PGA Championship

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Dufner played nearly flawless golf all weekend and found redemption after his 2011 collapse.

Jason Dufner Wins PGA Championship

In this article…

In the span of less than five months, Jason Dufner went from meme to major champion on the PGA Tour. Yesterday, Dufner won the PGA Championship, the tour's final major, by two strokes over Jim Furyk at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY. Dufner finished at (-10) after his two-under 68 and had himself quite the weekend. He broke the course record with his 63 on Friday and was a birdie putt on 18 away from breaking the PGA Championship round record with a 62. Now he has his first major title, and it comes two years removed from his big collapse.

During that fateful major, Dufner held a five-stroke lead on the back nine only to let it slip away. Three bogeys of his own combined with two birdies from Keegan Bradley led to a playoff, one that Dufner eventually lost. There was no such collapse yesterday, though Dufner did bogey his final two holes while clinging to a two-shot lead. It helped that Furyk also bogeyed those holes, eliminating any chance of a comeback.

Aside from those two holes, Dufner played incredible golf on Sunday. He put himself in great position on the greens thanks to his crisp iron play. One example of this was the terrific tee shot he hit on the par-three 16th. Dufner ended up with a tap-in birdie, which gained importance when Furyk holed a lengthy birdie-putt right before that. He was unflappable (save for the last two holes) and kept the pressure on Furyk with his steady play.

With Furyk unable to get it done, it would have been up to the rest of the field to mount any run against Dufner. No one could get it going, though. Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jonas Blixt and Rory McIlroy all shot even-par 70s. Lee Westwood, who had an outside shot when he started the day at three-under, ended up shooting a +6 and falling far off the lead. There were plenty of contenders there at the start of the round, but none of them posed any true threat to Dufner throughout the round.

Tiger Woods ended up shooting even par and finished the tournament in a tie for 40th place at +4. Despite winning five tournaments during the regular season, Woods couldn't translate any of that success to another major championship. It's strange that his play could drop off so drastically from regular PGA tournaments to majors, especially after winning last weekend, but this has to be another disappointing year for Woods even with a number one ranking and those five wins. 

British Open winner Phil Mickelson never got it going either. He made the cut at +2, but a 78 on Saturday killed his chances for back-to-back titles. He finished +12 and tied for 72nd.

Back in March, Deadspin made Dufner an Internet sensation when it posted a picture of him sitting in a semi-depressed state with a bunch of young children when he visited their classroom. Recreating this pose was called "Dufnering" and plenty of golfers like McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Ian Poulter poked fun at the pose.

He's undoubtedly still a meme (because that's such an unbelievable photo) and may have brought attention elsewhere when he smacked his wife's rear after she hugged him on the 18th green. But now he's a major champion who also just happens to be a meme. That's a definite upgrade.

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