PGA Championship: Last 4 holes

By Wayne | blog

Ok. Just watching the PGA. Furyk just left his putt on 15 6 feet short. Dufner hits the 3 wood off the fringe to a foot and a half. Furyk for the par. It would seem like he has to make it, although history tells us anything is possible. Furyk is the ultimate grinder. Nails it. What a good putt. Still has a chance. Dufner from 2 feet. Right in the middle. Great stuff. Now Stenson for birdie. Leaves it short. Three back with the two tough finishing holes left. Has to do something heroic.
The shot Dufner hit on 15 was stellar. He has it under control. Blixt hammers one in on 16 to get to 8 under. Dufner on 16 hitting driver. Another center cut drive. You rarely see anyone hit it this good anymore. Seems like even the winners hit bunches of errant shots. Dufner hasn’t made a bogey in over 25 holes. He is striping it, something that every golfer in the universe longs to experience even for a moment. Dufner is doing it down the stretch in a major. It will be fascinating to see if he can keep it up. If he doesn’t miss a shot he will win by a few. If he misses one the pressure increase will be exponential. After the loss at Atlanta Athletic he doesn’t want to find himself grinding like that.
Scott makes a long par putt to stay 7. Furyk from 115. Reacted like he hit a horrible shot. It’s 14 feet. Dufner from the same. Holy crap. He just hits it a foot. What a shot. Lands it 15 feet past and sucks it back to a foot. Are you kidding me? Awesome. Getting back to Adam Scott, the knuckleheads on TV are anointing him with the “greatest swing ever”. Are you kidding?
Furyk for birdie on 16. Dufner is in with a gimmee so Furyk needs to make this one. He’s taking forever, but it’s understandable. Man, he just drains it. Gives him a chance. Dufner taps it in and its just these two left with the last two tough suckers left.
Dufner with the driver. If he hits the fairway he’s one step closer. Man, right down the middle. He just keeps doing it. Now Furyk. Gotta hit it in the fairway. Does it. What a great swing. No one stands closer to the ball than Furyk (Sluman is close). He has his right arm more behind him than any great player in history. He simply found an entirely different way to be a great ball striker. Story goes that his dad told him when he was a kid that if he didn’t change his swing he would have to stop playing. Jim tried, but couldn’t do it and told his Dad that if he had to change his swing he would quit. His father relented and the rest is history. I played an 18 hole practice round with just me and Jim at Hazeltine, and I will never forget the focus and precision of everything he did.
Stenson and Blixt both bogey. Brutal lip out. Furyk misses the green. If Dufner hits a good shot it puts him in great position. Waggle, waggle, waggle….drill it onto the middle of the green. Damn, another great shot. This is what you would expect Hogan to be doing. Playing smart, hitting the ball where he aimed it, making every par a tap in. Furyk is doing great things but Dufner is one upping him, just playing better. You wonder why Dufner hasn’t won more overall and recently as well, but that just means that he’s in a groove and that he doesn’t do this all the time. If he did he’d be the one with 5 wins.
Now Dufner with a tough long putt. Whoa. Over 4 feet left for par. Now Furyk . Yikes. Leaves it short it the rough. Tried to flop it out. Ball hits too high up on the face. Now he has to up and down it for bogey. Wow. Almost holes it. But it’s a bogey. Now Dufner from 4 feet. This just about seals it. Nope, Pulls it. Still two shots ahead, but could have been 3. He seems imperturbable but I guess we will see now.
Ok Dufner with the driver. Biggest shot of his life. Nice shot, just barely in the right rough, ball sitting up. Blixt finishes in 3rd or 4th. Will do a swing analysis soon. Stenson drains his par to finish 3rd. Now it’s down to Dufner and Furyk on 18. Appears that Furyk needs a birdie. 191 front. 204 hole. Caught too much grass. Missed the green. Now Dufner just needs to get it up there around the green. Looks good (at least Feherty thinks so) but it’s short into the hill. Still, he’s up there with Furyk about the same distance and a crappy lie and he has a two shot lead. Looking pretty good. Probably two bogies out of this and Dufner wins.
Furyk slashes the ball 25 feet past the pin. Now Dufner just needs to bump it up onto the green. Pops it below the hole. Looks like its his. Really didn’t have any miscues other than the misses putt on 17. Great playing on his part. I look forward to seeing him on the late night talk shows.
Furyk grinding on the last par putt. These greens are tough. Firm and fast, with great rolls and bumps. Furyk bogies. Nice tournament. Played well, just got beat.

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(3) comments

Philip Palmer August 12, 2013

I guess 14 feet approach shots for Furyk look horrible when the guy playing next to you is stuffing them all day.

Tom August 13, 2013

Dufner is an interesting guy who has worked hard over the past 5 years or so to become one of the Tour’s best ball strikers. He has also improved his short game over the past couple of years, although he still struggles with the flatstick – his stats on putts inside five feet are horrible. But seven straight one-putts at Oak Hill in the fourth round of a major is no small feat, so perhaps there is hope for his putter. If he improves his putting as much as he has his overall short game, he could have an extremely productive next several years on the Tour.

Joe August 13, 2013

My wife and I were at the Ryder Cup at Medinah. Watched Dufner strolling up 9. He decided to re-tuck his shirt and undid his pants and pretty much dropped them to his knees. there were thousands of people lining the hole. He seems oblivious to everything at all times. Amazing ball striking. He is really shaky over short putts. Probably not something that gets better with age so his window may be not that wide. Cool to see Keegan waiting on 18. Love the look of the swing.

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