By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. -- A 41 on the front nine Saturday and the drive he sent out of bounds at the 15th hole in the final round cost Jason Dufner dearly at the U.S. Open
That's because Dufner ended up 5 over for the championship after a 67 on Sunday that included six birdies to go along with the triple bogey at the 15th hole. The round of 3 under tied for the low of the tournament.
Had Dufner been able to post a slightly lower number he certainly would have given the leaders something to think about as they played the brutal finishing holes. Instead, he'll likely be settling for a top-10 finish and some self-satisfaction.
"Yeah, there's definitely some birdie holes out here," Dufner said. "You wouldn't expect to birdie six of them on one round. But I birdied five of what I termed to be the easier holes on this golf course.
"Unfortunately that front nine yesterday, and one bad swing on 15 today is probably going to end me up a few short."
Dufner said he had lots of opportunities Sunday, particularly on the front nine. He birdied the first and seventh holes to turn in 34, then added three more in the first four holes on the back. The final birdie was a bounce-back after the triple bogey but it ended up too little, too late.
"I felt pretty good all week, just had a rough year where I can't get anything going," Dufner said. "I had a really nice birdie on the first hole and made a great par on 3. And then made some birdies. If I miss either one of those putts early in the day, it might have been a different story. But it was nice having some things going my way."