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Summerhays grabs Memorial lead as Dufner falters
18 June 2017, 01:59 | Sandy Nunez
Well, that's one way to win.
"That's the goal. I think this is probably a good stepping stone for (another major)", said Dufner, who became the first OH native to win the Memorial since tournament founder and 18-time major victor Nicklaus himself. But Saturday appeared it would be his downfall.
But Duf is resilient. Dufner then took charge.
Five strokes behind Hannah Green at the start of the day, Koerstz Madsen earned $18,750 - and a Kia Forte LX - to take the season money lead with $53,527. Suddenly, he was 13 under and had a two-shot on the 72nd hole. It looked as though Fowler would need to chip in to force a playoff - a shot Dufner has seen far too often during their games in Florida. It was a three-shot swing when Summerhays made birdie, and Dufner never caught up. First at 4:18 p.m. for 77 minutes and again at 6:48 p.m. - also for 77 minutes - with just a half dozen players on the course. In the 42 years of the tournament dating to 1976, at least one round has been delayed or postponed due to weather 27 times. Another delay started with that lightning at 6:48 p.m. and lasted until an 8:05 p.m. restart. With Fowler just off the green needing a birdie to potentially force a play-off, the mild-mannered Dufner proceeded to roll in his putt from 32 feet.
And with three of the big dances left in 2017, Dufner likes his chances this year.
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Dufner now might be deluged by his peers looking for the same reading material that got him into the winner's circle. The highest in that category was Kenny Knox, who posted a third-round 80 at the 1986 Honda Classic and still won. And then he kept his composure through two rain delays and closed with a four-under-par 68 to get that handshake with host Jack Nicklaus. Pretty cool week for Duf.
Fowler, meanwhile, bogeyed the last to shoot 70 and ended up tied for second with Lahiri, whose 65 was the day's best score.
Dufner birdied the 17th hole and jarred a 33-foot putt for par on the final green at Muirfield Village on Sunday to win by three over Anirban Lahiri and his playing partner and friend Rickie Fowler. Justin Thomas and Matt Kuchar finish T-4 at 9 under. He missed the putts he had been making for two days. And if you get through a week in Columbus, Ohio without a drop of rain, that's pretty good. I'm proud I'm from Ohio.
Fellow Australian Adam Scott was left to rue three dropped shots in his final two holes to drop to 31st at one under but, like Day, saw positives signs ahead of the year's second major. Unfortunately, a double bogey on No. 3 and a bogey on No. 4 opened things up for the rest of the field.
The first round of the US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin will be on Thursday, June 15, while Amanda's graduation ceremony is in southern California that same morning. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
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