Redemption for Jason Dufner as he wins US PGA Championship

American claims his first major by two strokes from compatriot Jim Furyk

Oak Hill

What was billed as a march on history, a PGA Championship that would proclaim once more the majesty of Tiger Woods on the occasion of his 15th major victory, ended as a trade skirmish between members of the chorus line. Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier this was not. After blowing a five-shot lead with four to play at this event two years ago none would deny Jason Dufner his hour in the sun.

Dufner could even afford a bogey-bogey finish and still claim his maiden major championship by two strokes from Jim Furyk. His final round 68 gave him a 10-under-par total of 270, lowering the Oak Hill record in this championship by four shots. Furyk, perhaps hoping to profit from the kind of meltdown that immolated Dufner in Atlanta, adopted a conservative policy, shooting a disappointing 71 to close on eight under par.

Excitement flared briefly with the two locked at ten under after six holes but by the turn Dufner had established a two-shot lead that, despite the late wobble, he would maintain all the way home. Dufner is a curious soul presenting an outward façade of country boy sang-froid that masks a sensitive disposition and a sharp golf game. From the second to the 16th holes he had ten single putts, which places him in the gunslinger category of finisher. Bogeys over the closing holes were matched by Furyk, thus draining the denouement of any dramatic tension. In the end this was a victory for Dufnering, that blissful, sloth-like state pioneered by the man himself.  

Rory McIlroy leaves Oak Hill much encouraged and, were it not for a triple bogey seven at the fifth, with a sense of what might have been. Over the 25 holes leading into the final round McIlroy was the ahead of the field, covering the stretch in seven under. He started with three birdies in his first four holes on Thursday, suggesting the swagger was returning, and he finished with his chest peacock high in a tie for eighth place after a round of 70.   

McIlroy set out with Lee Westwood needing early birdies to eat into an overnight deficit that stood at six under. For McIlroy it all started so well. After going close at the second he obliged at the third to go four under. Steady as you go Rory. If only. Two holes later he was scribbling that seven on his card after his approach to the green dribbled back off the front on to rocks.

Westwood took a five at the fifth after finding water off the tee. But that was not the worst of it. He had already bogeyed the second and doubled the third to drift ten shots back after five holes. He was treading water after that, posting a 76.

The Woods show ended without an encore. He was in the limo en route to the airport with the leaders still opening their shoulders on the range. Not the climax to the major season he imagined five days ago after blitzing by seven the very same adversaries at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

By the time Woods tees up at the Masters in April the major drought will have extended to six years. That offers eight long months for those advocating the 'Woods as busted flush' theory to glory in their victory. It is worth remembering, however, that Woods will be 38 at Augusta, giving him eight years to add in same time frame as Jack Nicklaus the four majors he needs to draw level on 18. 

For what it's worth, Nicklaus believes Woods might be trying too hard to chase him down. “It looks to me that he is trying to force it a little,” Nicklaus said. He might have a point, but that argument was not relevant to this bland contribution. Woods has yet to break 70 at this course. His even par fourth round was typical of the scratchy stuff served up all week.

A four-over-par total on a course that has never been more generous is a grim report on the sudden dip in standards. “I've had nine birdies in 72 holes, not enough. I didn't give myself many looks and didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it,” Woods said. He was sanguine about the state of the major challenge. “I've been there in half of them (this year), so that's about right. It's more frustrating not being in it.”

Ian Poulter showed what might be achieved with his customary early blast on Sundays at this event. Last year he piped five birdies out of the box en route to third place. Yesterday he ripped four in the opening six holes, but he was never in the hunt for prizes. By the close he was more interested in the barbecue by the pool with the kids in Florida, and posted on Twitter a picture composed of the means of conveying him there - private jet and Heineken - to prove it.

“It was fantastic, average and poor; six birdies, six pars, six bogeys. I missed a 3.5ft par putt on seven, a 4ft par putt on nine. I should have been five under through nine holes. I have a wedge in my hand at 10 and three-putt, and make a silly bogey at the next. From a position of possibly being six or seven under par for the round I'm two under and wanting to get off the golf course. Unless you are going to shoot millions under par it is hard to get up for it.”

He was up for it on the way home. Maybe it was the beer fuelling his Twitter feed. In the firing line were those in the audience with a predilection for shouting “mashed potato” after every shot. “ We should be allowed to take 10,000 volt tasers on to the course and taser every muppet who shouts out something stupid. I would laugh then. This baba boo shit and mashed potato crap wouldn't happen at Augusta, The Open, wouldn't happen at Wimbledon. Taser the thrushes,” he said.

 



Final leaderboard at Oak Hill

270 J Dufner (US) 68 63 71 68

272 J Furyk (US) 65 68 68 71

273 H Stenson (Swe) 68 66 69 70

274 J Blixt (Swe) 68 70 66 70

275 S Piercy (US) 67 71 72 65

275 A Scott (Aus) 65 68 72 70

276 D Toms (US) 71 69 69 67

Selected others:

277 R McIlroy (NIrl) 69 71 67 70

278 G McDowell (NIrl) 70 69 73 66

283 J Rose (Eng) 68 66 77 72

283 L Westwood (Eng) 66 73 68 76

284 T Woods (US) 71 70 73 70

288 I Poulter (Eng) 70 71 77 70

Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love and loyalty, say creators
Sport
Sergio Romero saves Wesley Sneijder's penalty
world cup 2014But after defeating the Dutch, Lionel Messi and Argentina will walk out at the Maracana on Sunday as underdogs against Germany
Sport
Scoreboard at the end of the semi-final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte
Sport
'Saddest man in Brazil' takes defeat with good grace, handing replica trophy to German fans
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleThe Game of Thrones author said speculation about his health and death was 'offensive'
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips
video
Arts and Entertainment
In his own words: Oscar Wilde in 1882
theatreNew play by the Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials - and what they reveal about the man
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m
filmWith US films earning record-breaking amounts at the Chinese box office, Hollywood is more than happy to take its lead from its new-found Asian audience
News
The garage was up for sale in Canning Place Mews for £500,000
newsGarage for sale for £500,000
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil