DUBLIN, Ohio – It took just five holes Saturday for Jason Dufner’s five-shot lead to evaporate.
The 36-hole leader bogeyed four of his first five holes to quickly fall into a tie with playing partner Daniel Summerhays, and he would never recover.
After back-to-back rounds of 65 staked him to a five-shot cushion, Dufner will enter Sunday at the Memorial four behind Summerhays, at 9 under par, following a third-round 77.
Dufner, who hit 17 of 18 greens in Round 1, missed his first four in Round 3 and then lost his lead when he three-putted for bogey at the par-5 fifth, missing his par attempt from inside 3 feet.
“Just got off to a bad start,” Dufner said during a terse post-round news conference. “Bad bogey on 3, bad bogey on 4. Hit pretty good shots on 6, made bogey. Couldn’t get anything going early. And then you’re kind of fighting it. Just not a real good day.”
A birdie at No. 7 allowed Dufner to turn in 3-over 39 but he fell to 5 over on his day when found the creek at the par-5 11th en route to a double bogey.
He traded two birdies and two bogeys over his last four holes to post 77.
“I’m still in this tournament, a [few] shots back on Sunday,” he said. “Today was pretty pathetic on all accounts. So, have to play better tomorrow.”
To Dufner’s credit, his playing partner lauded his perseverance.
“He was nothing but class out there,” Summerhays said. “He was always cheering me on. ‘Good shot.’ ‘Great job.’ … It went about as bad as it could for him today and he was nothing but class.”