LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ten days removed from an epidural for an arthritic neck condition, Jason Dufner stated a modest goal of finishing 72 holes as defending PGA champion.
Unfortunately for the affable Dufner, he failed.
Dufner withdrew after a triple bogey on the par-5 10th hole dropped him to 8 over. He opened with a double bogey on the par-4 first and never recovered.
Currently eighth on the Ryder Cup points list, he likely will be passed as one of nine automatic qualifiers, and his injury makes him an unlikely captain's pick for Tom Watson.
"I've been feeling pretty bad all week," Dufner said. "I felt bad last week. I haven't made a birdie in 45 holes, and I'm just not able to play golf right now. I don't need to be out here. I tried to do what I could to compete some, but it's just pointless."
Birdie: The over-50 crowd. Senior PGA champion Colin Montgomerie carded a 1-under 70, and Watson, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Kenny Perry finished at 1-over 72. "That's 14 years ago," Montgomerie cracked when asked about playing Valhalla in the 2000 PGA Championship. "I don't remember much."
Birdie: Kentucky hospitality. These fans even stop clapping when the "Quiet, please" placards are raised. The politeness spread to the players. Phil Mickelson said, "Here you go, buddy," as he tossed a ball to a kid after a birdie. Tiger Woods asked the gallery, "Everyone all right?" after an errant tee shot landed in the crowd.
Bogey: Bubba Watson. First, the Masters champion skipped a long-drive contest that merely involved one swing on the 10th hole of Tuesday's practice round. Then, according to ESPN.com, he continued his habit of forbidding his caddie from telling on-course TV reporters what club he hit.
Birdie: John Daly's pants. Anyone who is comfortable wearing what appeared to be a multicolored shower curtain converted into clothing is fine by us.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun