Former Oklahoma State star Rickie Fowler is five behind.
A day after shooting a miserable 77 to turn a five-stroke lead into a four-shot deficit on Saturday, Dufner roared back in the final round for his fifth PGA Tour victory.
“Obviously yesterday wasn’t my best day”, Dufner said. “So I kind of burned some steam off on the range and got it out of my system”. It is a 72 hole tournament. I know that doesn’t sound flashy and great.
Summerhays was playing in his 185th PGA Tour event at the Muirfield Village Golf Club and looking for his first victory. Matt Kuchar fell back with three bogeys on the back nine. Dufner went from the 36-hole record to four shots out of the lead.
But what a ride in between.
Compatriot James Hahn won that prize by two shots as his 65 – which included an impressive 10 birdies and three bogeys – moved him into a share of 14th on five under par. He twice erased bogeys with birdies on the very next hole on the front nine.
He even finished with a flourish, holing with a superb 36-foot putt to save par on the final green.
He stayed in the game during a wild stretch early, and then stroked the ball so pure that he hit every green until the 18th and only once had a birdie putt of more than 12 feet.
Fowler, however, split the fairway with his drive up the 18th. After reading articles about breathing techniques employed by snipers to slow their heart rate, Dufner started working this year on establishing a putting routine that would put less stress on his heart rate. He is better with the putter, though his strength remains his iron play, and it was close to flawless.
Upon returning, Dufner took two shots to get within 30 feet for par.
David Lingmerth (Arkansas Razorbacks), who shared the lead with Dufner after the first round, had a 2-over 74, which dropped him to 5 under and into a six-way tie for seventh place. He broke through at the CareerBuilder in January of past year for his first post-major win, but he hasn’t represented the United States in a team event since the 2013 Presidents Cup played here at Muirfield Village.
“Last summer was a big deal for me”, Summerhays said.
The 29-year-old Australian tied for 15th, his first top-25 result from nine starts at Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio, where he is a member. He made par, then dropped a shot on the next hole and his chances were over. The weather chose to be problematic as well, with two delays totaling over two and a half hours of waiting on the back nine. He’s a major champion and a multiple PGA Tour victor, he’s going to be a tough guy to chase down. “Legitimately from the first hole to the 18th hole, there’s a double bogey somewhere in there”.
South Africa’s George Coetzee (6) and Denmark’s Tjorbjorn Olesen (71) were 9 under.
In-Kyung Kim pretends to take a selfie as she holds the ShopRite LPGA Classic trophy.
On Saturday, Ariya Jutanugarn took the No. 1 spot in the world ranking to be released Monday. It’s nice to actually be here on the weekend after missing three straight cuts here.
Six players had yet to finish. Neither has won on the tour. Thirty-one of the top 50 started.
Coletta also picked up a cheque for US$66,410, the biggest of his short career, which will no doubt prove helpful as he plies his trade mostly on the third tier Canadian Tour the rest of the year.