Webb Simpson had all but a few hours to bask in tying the Oak Hill Country Club course record of 64 Friday, as Jason Dufner's seven-under score of 63 toppled the old record and tied the PGA Tour's best-ever showing in a major championship.
Jason Dufner's 63 is a new Oak Hill Tournament Course Record,— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 9, 2013
His score of 63 marks the 23rd time someone has pulled off such a feat. He breaks an Oak Hill record previously held by Ben Hogan, Curtis Strange and, of course, Simpson.
Following the round, Dufner spoke of what it meant to break a record held by such luminaries, per the PGA Tour's Twitter feed:
Dufner (course record): "The history of the game is something that's near to my heart. Mr. Hogan and Mr. Strange are good company to be in."— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 9, 2013
Buoyed by his spectacular second round, the 36-year-old Cleveland native is sitting at nine-under and currently has the 2013 PGA Championship lead heading into the weekend. Dufner is currently two strokes ahead of Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar, who are both in the clubhouse at seven-under. Jim Furyk is still on the course as of publication, just two behind at seven-under through 17 holes.
His nine-under score through the first two rounds ties the best score in PGA Championship history, per the event's official Twitter feed:
As ESPN's Justin Ray noted, this is the third straight year Dufner will have a 36-hole lead heading into Saturday of a major championship:
This would be the 3rd straight year Jason Dunfer has held 36-hole lead at major: was T-1st at '11 PGA, T-1st at '12 Masters.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) August 9, 2013
The amazing thing about Dufner's round is he could've tallied an even lower score. He stood on the 18th green facing a 20-foot birdie putt to put him at eight-under 62, but left the putt a couple of feet short. The former Auburn standout conceded that nerves played a major factor in him leaving a relatively straight putt so short:
Dufner on putt for 62: "I showed a little bit of nerves there, leaving it short. ... It kind of plays with your mind a little bit." #PGATOUR— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 9, 2013
That miss was an anomaly on a day of excellence from Dufner. He carded five birdies, an eagle and avoided any over-par scores en route to shooting 63.
Opening the day on the front nine, it was obvious early on that Oak Hill was playing right into his hands. He parred the first hole in relatively uneventful fashion, but holed out from the fairway on the par-four second to spark an instant run of success on the remainder of the course. He followed with two birdies at Nos. 4 and 5, then parring the rest of the first nine.
He then birdied Nos. 11, 13 and 16 on the back nine as he completed a third of the course under par.
Dufner is looking for his first major-championship victory. His best career finish was at the 2011 PGA Championship, where he finished second.
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