PGA Championship 2013: Biggest Surprises from This Weekend at Oak Hill
The 2013 PGA Championship is behind us, as 36-year-old Auburn University alum Jason Dufner has won his first career major championship. Dufner finished at 10 under par, outdueling Jim Furyk for the $1,445,000 prize and a place amongst the immortals.
The question is, what were the biggest surprises from this weekend at Oak Hill?
To start, we'd be remiss to ignore just how improbable it was for Dufner to win big. He hadn't won a PGA Tour event in over a calendar year, finished 27th at the 2012 PGA Championship and appeared to be broken after losing a three-hole playoff to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 event.
The PGA Championship has now become the event of the unknown.
Jason Dufner is the 4th player in the last 5 years to claim his first career major at the PGA.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 11, 2013
Perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised.
Not only did Dufner finish second at the 2011 PGA Championship, but he finished in fifth place in 2010. Even still, few had Dufner as a true contender to win the event at the beginning of August.
Four days later, we've been provided with an underdog champion.
Jonas Blixt's Top-5 Finish
Twenty-nine-year-old Jonas Blixt was an accomplished amateur competitor and currently owns two PGA Tour victories. Most recently, he won the 2013 Greenbrier Classic.
In just his second career major championship, Blixt cracked the top five at the 2013 PGA Championship.
Blixt has been a professional since 2008, having attended Florida State beforehand. In his first career major championship appearance, he finished 26th overall at eight over par during the 2013 Open Championship.
Who could've predicted that he'd turn things around so soon?
Blixt was fourth at the 2013 PGA Championship, shooting six under overall. He was even on the final day, converting three birdies and three bogeys on the final six holes of the fourth round.
In the round prior, he shot a bogey-free 66 and proved that his rise to fame wasn't but a fluke. It was four rounds of quality play.
Lee Westwood's Epic Collapse
It's no secret that Lee Westwood has struggled in major championships, failing to win a single event. With that being said, Westwood has four top-10 finishes in his past eight major events and entered the day at three under par, within striking distance of the leaders.
Will Lee Westwood ever win a major?
Just like that, Westwood collapsed with a horrendous fourth-round performance.
Westwood shot a six-over 76 during the final round of play, bringing his score to three over for the tournament. Not only did this pull him out of contention, but it forced him to lose roughly $168,000 due to one day of action.
A painful defeat.
Westwood may have the biggest monkey on his back, for all you Steve Young fans, as he's one of the best to never win a major. Worst of all, he's in contention at virtually every tournament that he competes in.
Competing and closing out just so happen to be entirely different things.
Tiger Woods' Disappearing Act
Leading up to the 2013 PGA Championship, Tiger Woods had built up as much momentum as anyone in the world. Not only did he win the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational, but he shot a 15-under par and defeated the field by seven strokes.
Just like that, the momentum was washed away.
Woods finished in 40th at the 2013 PGA Championship, shooting a four-over par with no score above 70. That includes an opening-round 71 that saw Woods collapse on the final hole, shooting a double-bogey to offset a round of quality work.
He never recovered.
Even as he moved into striking distance, Woods shot a third-round 73 and all but eliminated himself from title contention. Despite shooting a three-under back nine during the fourth round, he also found bogey on eight and double-bogey on nine.
At this point, we can't help but ask—will Woods ever win a major championship again?
Tiger Woods is winless in his last 18 majors played.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 11, 2013
Something tells us that once he does, we will see another reign of terror. Until then, Woods is in trouble.
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