Dufner didn't shrink when Memorial victory appeared out of reach

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The Farmington native and former BYU star shot a 4-under par 68 at the third round of the Memorial, and has a three-shot lead on Matt Kuchar going into tomorrow's final round.

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - One of the best perks from winning the Memorial is to walk off the 18th green and into a warm handshake from tournament host Jack Nicklaus.

Jason Dufner held off Rickie Fowler and weathered Chief Leatherlips on Sunday to win the storm-plagued Memorial Tournament. Rickie Fowler is in third at eight-under.

"Majors are very hard to win, but I feel like I have the type of game to compete".

Defending champion William McGirt followed his opening round 71 with a 72 which leaves him on one under, 13 shots off the pace. And Dufner always has been a superb shot-maker.

After the first weather delay, Dufner took the outright lead with a birdie on 15 and extended his advantage to two shots with a birdie on the 17th, where he hit a 357-yard drive, a 120-yard sand wedge and made a 3-foot putt. And it was playing and practicing with Fowler and Justin Thomas at The Bear's Club in Jupiter that reignited in Dufner - who earlier this week called golf his job more than his passion - the kind of enjoyment that can escape him. He missed a 6-foot par putt on the third, then hit into the right bunker on the par-3 4th and made another bogey.

You wouldn't have been surprised if Dufner simply called his putter "The Enemy".

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Using a breathing trick he says he picked up while reading about military snipers, Dufner has been better on the greens this year, but at Muirfield Village he was both good and bad.

Memorial victor Jason Dufner jumped out to a great start, carding back-to-back 65s on Thursday and Friday to lead the field at -14. "I've had three or four pretty close calls in majors, and I don't feel like I'm done just yet".

"Last summer was a big deal for me", Summerhays said.

And with three of the big dances left in 2017, Dufner likes his chances this year.

"You have a lot of setbacks out here on the PGA Tour, to rebound from it (Saturday's round) and give myself a chance to win - I was going to be proud whether I won today or not because I got back in contention and that's what all of us want to do come Sunday at the PGA Tour", Dufner said.

"I know I can play well here", he said. "I've had a pretty good year this year", said Dufner, who missed the cut in his previous start but had four top-13 finishes in his last seven starts. Took me another two after that to win and actually get to where I felt comfortable.

Mickelson said he had notified the US Golf Association (USGA) of his decision well in advance so that the organising body as well as his replacement would not be caught off guard. I've been really consistent, a lot of top 25s and a lot of made cuts. He tried to play a flawless shot and barely got it out, then chipped down to 5 feet and missed the putt, making double bogey.

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