It’s the major tournament for journeymen, so it seemed only right that the journeyman’s journeyman was doing nothing but hitting greens and making putts.
Jason Dufner, he of the quiet mien and distinctive waggle, was also leading the PGA Championship on Sunday by four strokes after a kid named Keegan Bradley tripled No. 15.
So Dufner, the guy with no career tour wins, the guy who’d missed the cut in his previous four tour events, bogies three straight holes, while Bradley, a bona fide gee-whiz kid, birdies 16, 17 and 18 to force a playoff.
As so often happens, the guy who should have won in regulation has no heart for the playoff. Dufner didn’t get close to a birdie putt on 16, the first playoff hole, and Bradley made birdie from closer range. There were two playoff holes to go, but it felt like it was over.
Dufner bogied 17, and it was over. Dufner managed a nice birdie putt on 18, but Bradley needed only a two-putt par to win. He got it with a two-footer, and fell into a group hug.
The better known young guns were nowhere to be seen at the end … Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler. McIlroy had a story, all right, but it didn’t involve contending at the end.
The 40-somethings represented … Jim Furyk hung around and hung around, then hit one in the water. Steve Stricker, who had a beautiful 63 in Round One, was steady as ever until he wasn’t. He now holds the mantle of “best American never to have won a major.” And he might be running out of time.
Keegan Bradley, with one major and counting, has got nothing but time.