Aug. 11, 2013
Jason Dufner became first Auburn alumnus to win a major title (Associated Press photo)
By Phillip Marshall
Former Auburn All-American Jason Dufner didn’t falter this time.
Dufner, trailing Jim Furyk by one shot entering Sunday’s final round, took a 2-shot lead at the turn and made it stand up Sunday to win te PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., for his first major title.
Dufner shot a 2-under 68 and finished 10-under for the tournament to finish two shots up on Furyk and become the first Auburn alumnus to win a major championship.
"I just decided I was going to be confident and really put my best foot forward and be aggressive and try to win this thing," Dufner said. "I wasn’t going to play scared or soft. I’m happy to get the job done, and it’s a big step in my career."
In the 2011 PGA Championship in Atlanta, Dufner had a 5-shot lead after 14 holes only to let it get away. He let nothing get away Sunday. He birdied No. 4, No. 5 and No. 8 on the front nine to take command. He birdied No. 16 on the back nine. Both he and Furyk made bogies at No. 17 and No. 18.
In Friday’s second round, Dufner shot a 63, tying the lowest score in major championship history. He fell just off the pace Saturday before finishing with a flourish Sunday to in the coveted Wanamaker Trophy.
Dufner, born in Cleveland, moved with his family to Fort Lauderdale when he was 14. He walked on at Auburn and earned a scholarship. The title is Dufner’s fifth as a professional and third on the PGA Tour.
"I can’t believe this is happening to me," Dufner said. "I feel really, really good."