The 2013 PGA Championship is over and the champion is first time major winner Jason Dufner. With a final round worthy of any major champion, Dufner took the PGA finishing on -10, 2 shots clear of Jim Furyk.
Dufner played perfect golf all week (with the exception of the 3rd round, and even it was ok), even breaking the course record with an impressive 63 which could have been much better if not for a few missed putts.
Before the start of the tournament I tipped Dufner as my top value pick (and personally bet him as well) saying:
Dufner has the ability to go out and play aggressive golf and score very well. I said it at the Open and I’ll say it again here, if Dufner can put himself within around 4 or 5 shots on the last day he could very well shoot himself to the trophy.
and at the half way point:
it wouldn’t surprise me if the winning score at the end of Sunday was higher than -10
and before the last round:
if I were to go out on a limb and choose one I think it is most likely going to be Dufner
So not bad overall for my predictions
Dufner was imperious throughout the week, and I felt that if he was able to go out today and shoot a couple under he would be the winner. He kindly obliged and played an incredible 16 holes, before cramping up a touch with two holes to go and bogeying each of them. However when he bogeyed those holes, he knew that he had the shots to spare and could afford to take those bogey’s.
As I have already shown, I really liked Dufner at the start of the tournament and he delivered as only he can, with a calm and composed performance. Dufner’s iron play, driving and putting were all fantastic over the whole week. His only weakness this week was his short putting and even some of the dodgy ones still dropped. Dufner’s play was fantastic, and his 63 on Friday was just sublime. He very much is a deserving PGA champion and I congratulate him on it.
I said this about Furyk after the 3rd round:
Furyk Is currently sitting on-9 and I am positive (hope this doesn’t come back and bite me on the ass) that he will not win this
Well I took a risk and got one right, which always feels nice. I just didn’t see Furyk being able to do anything and he accommodated me and managed to throw away any chance he had of winning.
Furyk was within 2 of Dufner with two holes to play and still managed to finish bogey bogey, making what Dufner did over the last two holes irrelevant. It is made all the worse by the fact that Dufner also went bogey bogey, meaning that if Furyk had went par par, he would have forced a play-off. Now maybe Dufner doesn’t make two bogies if he knows he can’t but Furyk didn’t ask the question, and that is criminal. He bottled it and at his age he isn’t going to receive many more chances to win another major.
An odd tournament for Stenson who once again had a good showing without ever really challenging. That is the thing about Stenson, he finished 2nd at the Open but never looked like winning it, and he followed that up with a 3rd in the PGA but never looked like winning it. It isn’t that he played poorly in the last round (he played ok), it is more that he never stepped it up a level. At one point he got within two and looked like he may make a push, but never got any closer.
I doubt it would have mattered what Stenson did, because Dufner went out and won the tournament and Stenson would have needed at worst a 67 to force a play-off. Still a good result for Stenson once again in his comeback to the top of world golf.
Jonas Blixt & Scott Piercy
Both guys will be ecstatic with their performance in the PGA. Blixt never shot a round over par, which is an incredible achievement when you consider that this is only his 2nd major championship. I didn’t expect anything of Blixt on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised that he was able to maintain his position in the field, finishing a nice 4th.
Scott Piercy shot the round of the day and came from out of nowhere to finish T-5th. I’m sure Piercy was more than pleased with his excellent final round, and although he never had a chance to win the title he will go home pleased with his overall performance.
I didn’t like Scott’s chances all week, because as I keep saying it is very rare for someone to win their first major and then win one of the next three in their next attempt (with the last 4 being O’Meara, Seve, Jacklin and Nicklaus). I also think that although he finally won a well-deserved major at the Masters, there are still serious questions about his bottle.
The reason for this is that if you look at his last round at this year’s Open and this year’s PGA, you see Scott up the top of the leader board going into the last day. Yet at the end of the day he isn’t lifting the trophy above his head. Maybe it is harsh, but when you look at it in both tournaments he had a chance to win (especially the Open) and in both tournaments he didn’t show up on the last day. I think Scott is a very good golfer and he will win another major one day, but I think there are still serious questions about his bottle. He should have been able to put in a challenge of some kind on Sunday but didn’t and shot 5 bogeys instead in a level par round.
Rory McIlroy flattered to deceive in his defence of his PGA title, and although he managed to finish T-8th, the final position was more flattering than his play deserved. At no point did McIlroy look like he was actually challenging and was very sloppy with his play the whole week. He clearly is still struggling with his new clubs and it has definitely had an adverse effect on his game Maybe my comments are harsh but you expect more from McIlroy.
Why am I including a player that didn’t even compete in anyway throughout the week in my review? Well I thought that Woods was going to win (and win comfortably) and he went out and played some really poor golf. In the end Woods finished +4 and in T-40th, not quite what you’d expect from the best player in the world. It is incredible that this is the same player who ripped the field to bits at Firestone. Everything was off for Woods, his putting over the first two days was awful and his driving over the last two days killed any slight hope he may have had. Overall Woods’ performance at the PGA was incredibly disappointing and will only add fuel to the fire of the haters who say he will never win a major again.
Pre-tournament I made 5 tips for the Open Championship and recommended betting each way. They were Jason Dufner (1st) who won (yay me), Zach Johnson (T-8th) never really challenged but played the golf I expected him to, Francesco Molinari (T-33rd) thought he would have done better, Paul Lawrie and Branden Grace (MC) they were outside bets but thought they would at least make the cut.
After the 2nd round I made another three picks based on the half way odds. They were Steve Stricker (T-12th) who had a poor final round taking him out of contention, Martin Kaymer (T-33rd) a 78 on Saturday took him totally out of contention and Sergio Garcia (T-61st) pathetic weekend with a 75 and 76 should really be doing better with his ability after putting in two solid rounds previously.
After the 3rd round I picked a further 3 players; they were Steve Stricker again, Dustin Johnson (T-8th) shot a 69 but really needed a 65 to give himself a chance of challenging (not in the end it would have mattered) and Lee Westwood (T-33rd) who managed to putt like a 25 handicapper and shot a 76, when he also needed a 65.
Overall I had 10 picks (1 double) and didn’t really do well overall except for the fact that I tipped Dufner to win pre-tournament (the Johnson’s also did ok). I liked Dufner from the start and thought that 40/1 were great odds for a player of the Dufman’s ability. I thought at the halfway point he was the most likely man to win and I thought with one round to go he was the most likely man to win, and so (luckily for my bank balance) he was the winner, and a deserving one too.
I thought that the 2013 PGA Championship was another excellent week of golf and once again showed the depth and quality of players that the game of golf has. The only major complaint I could have, was over the ridiculous crowds; why is it cool to shout and holler stupid things like ‘mashed potatoes’? That is not golf. Why aren’t these people being ejected? The PGA need to get this sorted out because it is ruining the spectacle and it is also only a matter of time before someone shouts to early and puts a player off his shot and costs them the title.
I also have to complain about the way that the American crowds just cheer if the player hits the ball hard; it is really annoying if you are watching TV and you naturally think it is a good shot, only to see it land in thick rough. Do these people not know how to follow the flight of a ball? Or do they think the game is about hitting the ball hard and that is it? Who knows, but it makes American crowds look stupid and that is not a good article to the rest of the world.
This year, all four majors have been excellent tournaments; and it is nice to see 4 deserving winners of the 4 majors also. The only thing missing from this year’s majors is the comeback of Tiger Woods which everyone is waiting for. I don’t even mean that he wins one, more so that he actually goes out and seriously challenges for one. Golf doesn’t need Tiger Woods, but it is better with him than without him.
So let me know what you thought of the PGA Championship. Do you think that Jason Dufner is a deserving winner? Are you as disappointed in Tiger Woods as I am? Or any other views you may have on the tournament, all comments are welcome.