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Dufner erases heartache in PGA triumph

Dufner sparkles in approach play, but Woods lacks bite at year's final shot to end major drought.

Last Modified: 12 Aug 2013 17:00
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Dufner displayed steely, precise shot-making, backed up by safety-first golf over the difficult closing stretch [AFP]

Jason Dufner has overcome the heartache of his heart-late collapse twoyears ago when he clinched his first major title by two shots in the 95th PGA Championship.

One stroke behind playing partner Jim Furyk overnight, the ultra-laidback Dufner produced some scintillating approach play on the way to a two-under-par 68 and a 10-under total of 268 on the challenging Oak Hill Country Club.

"It probably still hasn't hit me yet," Dufner said after being presented with the coveted Wanamaker Trophy which he hoisted high before kissing it.

"I can't believe this is happening to me."

Former US Open champion Furyk was alone in second after offsetting a birdie with a bogey for an outward half of even par at Oak Hill Country Club.

In-form Swede Henrik Stenson, who has posted top-three finishes in his last three starts worldwide, was in third at eight under after nine holes, two strokes better than Australia's Masters champion Adam Scott, after 10.

American Scott Piercy held the clubhouse lead at five-under 275 after piling up eight birdies and three bogeys in a closing five-under 65, while Tiger Woods ended a forgettable week with a 70 to finish halfway down the leaderboard.

Woods shrugs off poor run

Woods has had a barren run at the majors since his US Open triumph in 2008 [AFP]

"Didn't seem to hit it as good and didn't make many putts until the last few holes today," said Woods, whose even-par 70 left him at four-over for the tournament.

"But I didn't give myself many looks and certainly didn't hit the ball good enough to be in it."

There was a period in his career when it seemed only a matter of time before  Woods would accomplish his lifetime goal of winning a record 19 major championships.

But after concluding the PGA Championship well back of the leaders on Sunday, the 14-times major winner ensured his drought at golf's elite events will spill into a once-unthinkable sixth year.

Critics will point to Woods's barren run at the majors since his US Open triumph in 2008 as a sign that his best golf is behind him, but the world number one has nine top-10 finishes in the 18 majors he has competed in since then.

That includes a tie for fourth at the Masters in April and a share of sixth place at last month's British Open, results that convince Woods he has no reason to panic about his form in the top events.

"Is it concerning? No. As I've said, I've been there in half of them. So that's about right," Woods said.

"If you are going to be in there three-quarters or half of them with a chance to win on the back nine, you have just got to get it done."

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