Dufner staying grounded

Jason Dufner is refusing to get carried away despite a course-record 63 giving him a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the US PGA Championship (Dufner – 7/2 In-Play Winner).

The 36-year-old opened up with a solid two-under par 68 on Thursday but he ripped up the course with five birdies and an eagle in a bogey-less round on Friday to set a new course record at Oak Hill.

The Alabama resident had an eight-foot putt on his final hole to become the first player in history to shoot 62 in a major but he left his effort short to remain on nine-under par.

And he has a couple of strokes to play with over the weekend, with Adam Scott (4/1), Jim Furyk (10/1) and Matt Kuchar (7/1) all sitting on -7 with 36 holes still to play.

England’s US Open champion Justin Rose (7/1) is by no means out of contention after a 66 gave him a share of fifth place with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (7/1) on six-under par, while Robert Garrigus and Steve Stricker (25/1) are tied for seventh just one shot further back.

Webb Simpson (33/1) and Martin Kaymer (33/1) are among a group of four players on -4 but the buzz was all about Dufner after his record-breaking display in Rochester.

The 2011 runner-up is in pole position to claim his first major on Sunday but, in typical Dufner style, he played down his exploits and made it clear that there is a long way to go.

“I’m just happy to be in this position going into the weekend,” he said. “It’s great to share that history with some of the names. It’s a special Friday but I’ve got some work to do this weekend.”

The expected charge from Tiger Woods never materialised and the world number one is 10 shots off the lead at +1, while Open Champion Phil Mickelson is on two-over par and Rory McIlroy is just the right side of par on -1.

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