While Jason Dufner is not necessarily a household name in the world of sports, he’s no stranger to being in the lead at a major golf tournament. Dufner entered round three of the 2013 PGA Championship with a two-stroke lead on the competition (-9). It marked the third time he’s held a lead after 36 holes in a major since 2010. He of course lost the 2011 PGA Championship in a playoff to Keegan Bradley after leading for 36 holes and he also squandered a lead at the 2012 Masters and ended up tied for 24th.
With his performance on Saturday (+1), Dufner just missed out on having the 54-hole lead heading into Sunday.
It certainly wasn’t a great day for Dufner, but he played well enough to keep in contention for his first major championship. He had several birdie opportunities throughout round three, but only managed to drain two of them. His double bogey on five certainly didn’t help his cause, but it was by far his worst hole of the day.
It appeared that the pressure was getting to Dufner at times during Saturday’s round, as he flat out rushed a couple of putts. Still, he powered through and made tough par shots when he had to. He had makeable shots to gain the outright lead (i.e. 16), but just couldn’t get one to drop. However, Dufner put himself in those positions, which is really all you can ask for during a major championship.
Dufner is now one stroke back of Jim Furyk (-9) heading into the final round, with a very solid chance of earning his first major victory. Sure, he would have preferred to keep his lead going into Sunday, but it’s clearly still a wide open tournament for anyone near the top of the leaderboard.