PGA Championship 2013 Results: Biggest Winners and Losers at Oak Hill
It was a barn-burner without the fire.
Perhaps the two most taciturn guys on the tour, Jim Furyk and Jason Dufner battled all day on Sunday at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill without a fist pump or leap in the air between them.
Ultimately, it was his quiet persistence complemented by a ball-striking clinic that led Dufner to his first major title and the Wanamaker Trophy.
Oak Hill may have been without the hoped-for drama of a Sunday match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both of whom had forgettable tournaments. But it was not without some truly excellent performances, including a course-record 64 set by Webb Simpson, which was beaten a few hours later by Dufner’s magnificent 63 in the second round.
The career performance allowed Dufner to follow in Adam Scott and Justin Rose's footsteps and become the third player in 2013 to win his first major.
Like Scott and Rose, Dufner knocked on the door several times before finally kicking it down. A heartbreaking loss to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship and two fourth-place finishes at the last two U.S. Opens surely left a bad taste in his mouth, but now he can finally enjoy the sweet taste of a major victory.
The Wanamaker Trophy makes Dufner the biggest winner of the weekend, but there were others who won and those who lost at Oak Hill.
Winner: Jonas Blixt
Blixt has been a pleasant and unexpected surprise this year, and the young Swede looked like a star of the future at Oak Hill.
Blixt, who won the Greenbrier Classic earlier this year, went four under on Saturday with a bogey-free 66. His round included one of the best shots of the tournament on Saturday when he dug himself out of the deep rough on No. 18 to make a birdie.
With his fourth-place finish, it won’t be a surprise to see Blixt atop future leaderboards.
Loser: Justin Rose
Rose came into Oak Hill with the expectations that accompany a recent major winner. And, at the end of the second round, he was four under, just a few back of the leader and primed to capture his second major title this year.
His rounds included both a 29 on Friday and a 42 on Saturday that was part of a 77 that basically ended his chances.
Rose’s performance was especially surprising since he currently ranks second in scoring average on the tour.
Winner: Scott Piercy
Last year’s winner at the Canadian Open, Piercy had seemingly disappeared from the spotlight missing three cuts in his last five events.
But that didn’t seem to matter to him this week. He entered the final day at even par and then scorched the course with a five-under 65 that put him in a tie for fifth place.
Loser: Phil Mickelson
This was not exactly what the golfing public had in mind from the recent British Open Winner.
Bidding for a consecutive major win that would secure his position as player of the year and lift him into the No. 1 world ranking, Phil just could not get untracked all week.
His third round, in which he posted an eight-over 78, included a highly unusual triple- and double-bogey and sunk him way back in the pack.
He finished the tournament at 12 over par.
Winner: Rory McIlroy
McIlory was in an odd position coming into Oak Hill. He had won last year's PGA Championship, yet as the defending champ, he was not expected to be anywhere near the top of the leaderboard.
In other words, the expectations were very low for the former world No. 1, and that may have been a great thing for McIlroy.
His play during the week was highly reminiscent of the excellence that brought him two majors in the last two years and may have bolstered his confidence going forward.
He was three under going into Sunday, and if not for a triple-bogey at the difficult fifth hole, he may have made it much higher than his tie for eighth.
Is he back? Tune in to his next tournament.
Loser: Matt Kuchar
Kuchar is having another great year statistically and started out spectacularly with a 67 and 66 and in perfect position to pounce. Yet he was a different player entirely on Saturday, posting a 76 and leaving himself out of contention.
When all was said and done, he finished in a tie for 22nd place.
Winner: Dustin Johnson
It looked like Johnson was in for another one of those lost big tournaments.
That is until he teed it up on Moving Day. Something must have clicked for him as he blistered the course in a 65 and then followed that with a round of 69 on Sunday.
He finished in a tie for eighth place at three under.
Loser: Lee Westwood
At 40 years old, Westwood’s window to success is shrinking fast. Once again, he had what has become a typical up and down performance at a major.
A couple of times, he was within shouting distance of the lead. And then he wasn’t.
He entered Sunday three under, tied for seventh and could have posted a low number going into the clubhouse. Instead, he was four over for the day. His scorecards of 66, 73, 68 and 76 told the story of his tournament.
Winner: Henrik Stenson
Stenson is having a wonderful comeback year. He's ranked sixth in driving accuracy and second in greens in regulation and was looking to be the first Swede to win a major.
After finishing second to Mickelson in last month’s British Open, Stenson waltzed into Oak Hill, posted excellent numbers and was only two back of the leader going into Sunday.
He made a valiant run at the top but came up just short, finishing in third one stroke ahead of his fellow Swede, Jonas Blixt.
Loser: Hunter Mahan
After finishing in the top 10 of the last two majors, Mahan was among the favorites to grab the Wanamaker Trophy.
He began Saturday in good position at two under but blew up with a 78 and went in the wrong direction on moving day. Mahan finished at seven over for the tournament.
Mahan has proven his ability to compete at the highest level and should remain a top contender for his first major title in 2014.
Winner: Jason Day
Day probably wishes there was another day in the PGA Championship.
The man who finished second at the U.S. Open and third at the Masters raced up the leaderboard on Sunday with his three-under 67. If not for three bogeys at the end, he might have been in the top five at Oak Hill too.
Day has knack for playing tough in majors, and it is only a matter of time before he has his first title.
Loser: Brandt Snedeker
Snedeker, who just won the Canadian Open, was a pre-tournament favorite to win at Oak Hill. But, his nine-over performance would not cut it.
With two wins and eight top-10 finishes, he still is having a great year.
Winner: Adam Scott
Scott had the look of a winner when he began the tournament as befits someone who recently won his first major title.
The Aussie's victory at the Masters in April silenced his critics and avenged his tough loss at the British Open last year.
He is now primed for a second, third and more and he showed it at Oak Hill, where he finished in a tie for fifth place with Scott Piercy.
Loser: Tiger Woods
“I think winning one major championship automatically means you had a great year,” said Tiger to Fox Sports before the opening of the PGA Championship. “Even if you miss the cut in every tournament you play in, you win one, you're part of history.”
For anyone else with Tiger’s record of five wins, 2013 would be a great year. For Tiger, it is “pretty good.” “This year, for me, I think it's been a great year so far for me, winning five times, and you look at the quality of tournaments I've won, a Players and two World Golf Championships in there, that's pretty good.”
We still don’t believe that his four-over tournament performance will make him feel any better about his year despite his statistical success (No. 1 in scoring average), money earned ($7.66 million in purses) and number of wins.
It is and always will be about majors and he has only to look to next year to end his 0-for-18 drought.
Winner: Jim Furyk
Furyk hadn’t won a major since the U.S. Open title 10 years ago, and if an award was given for consistency with rounds of 65, 68, 68, 71, he would surely get it.
But, consistency wasn't the only thing needed to win at Oak Hill. Furyk had to face the hot hand of Jason Dufner, who fired shot after shot at the pin to steal the win and the trophy from the 43-year-old vet.
Overall, it was a gritty performance by Furyk, who has now finished in the top five in majors six times.