• US PGA Championship, 2nd Round

Dufner takes the lead and the course record

ESPN staff
August 9, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Jason Dufner lines up a putt on the eighth hole © Getty Images
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Jason Dufner shot a 63 to storm into the lead in the US PGA at Oak Hill, breaking the course record in the process and leaving the field in his wake. On a day when the course played easily, he set out his stall with an eagle at the second when he holed from the fairway, and five more birdies gave him the outright lead.

However he narrowly missed out on becoming the first player to card a round of 62 in a major when his birdie putt on the 18th fell inches short. He had to settle for shooting just the 24th round of 63 in majors history.

Dufner admitted his disappointment at missing out on the record. "It's tough, I know a bit about golf history and I knew 62 hadn't been shot. You couldn't have a better putt for it and I just didn't commit like I wanted to. It's great to share that history with some of the names. It's a special Friday but I've got some work to do this weekend."

Scott makes case for No. 1

Mr Consistency © AP
  • Steve Williams was race-walking toward the Oak Hill driving range when he suddenly stopped, plunked down the bag he was lugging, and agreed to answer a few questions about his current boss, Adam Scott, and why he was suddenly morphing into Williams' old boss, Tiger Woods.

    Williams was along for the ride for 13 major titles before Woods famously and coldly sacked him, so the caddie knows a thing or three about tee-to-green greatness. Over the past three years, Scott has played the majors with a consistency matched by nobody else - not Tiger or Phil or Rory - inspiring this singular question: Why? Why does a guy with a pretty smile and prettier swing, a guy who looks like he just stepped off a sailboat in one of those Izod bad-boy ads, suddenly represent the possible end of the search for the next special player in golf?

    Click here to read more

Masters winner Adam Scott shot a two-under 68, taking advantage of a course softened up even more by morning showers to sit at seven under and take an early lead before Dufner's efforts. He could have gone lower if not for a long putter that was a bit shaky. He missed a couple of attempts inside 10 feet and a few more that were just a little farther away.

"I felt like if I was really hot with the putter, I couldn't have been a lot better," Scott said. "But the course was playing really long when it was raining. So 68 is a good score."

Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar tied Scott for second after shooting 68 and 66 respectively.

US Open winner Justin Rose shot a six-under 29 over his final nine holes for a 66 that left him just one stroke behind Scott. Henrik Stenson is also six under heading into the weekend after carding the same score.

The other member of Scott and Rose's group, Phil Mickelson, who won the Open Championship, shot a 71 for the second day running to leave him two over and nervously waiting to see where the cut came.

Tiger Woods endured another frustrating day, shooting an even-par 70 to go one under and head into the weekend 10 shots off the lead, as his hopes of a 15th major slipped further away.

"I've got to post something in the mid-to-low 60s tomorrow," Woods said. "It's hot, it's soft and players are going low."

Webb Simpson, a former U.S. Open champ, was another to make a big charge. He was seven under through his first 15 holes and flirting with the major championship scoring record himself before a bogey at the seventh, his 16th hole of the round, stemmed the momentum. He had one more birdie shot at the eighth, but missed a 10-footer. Simpson finished with a 64, momentarily tying the course record until Dufner broke it, and two strokes shy from the lowest round ever in a major.

"I was thinking about it coming down the last few holes," said Simpson, whose 136 total left him within site of the lead. "I just kept plodding along. Even though I played well, it felt like a 10-hour round out there."

American pair Robert Garrigus and Steve Stricker are one shot ahead of Simpson on five under, tied for seventh place, after rounds of 68 and 67.

Lee Westwood had made a terrific start to his second round in Rochester, taking a share of the lead at five under after five holes before carding a double bogey, bogey finish for a three-over 73 to end one under for the Championship. Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey joined him with totals of 139.

Rory McIlroy bounced back from a tough start. He played his first 10 holes at 5 over, but closed with four birdies for a 71 that left him even for the tournament. "I've just got to try to get off to a fast start tomorrow," said McIlroy. "I need to shoot something in the mid-60s to give myself a chance on Sunday."

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