published Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Dufner, Bradley lead PGA with 135s

JOHNS CREEK, Ga.—The list of golfers who boarded Marquis jets out of the Atlanta area Friday night is much more impressive than the names atop the leaderboard at the PGA Championship.

But Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley share the lead at 5-under-par 135. D.A. Points, John Senden, Jim Furyk and Scott Verplank are one shot back, and that entire half-dozen have just one major championship victory.

Tiger Woods missed the cut by six shots and will not play in a PGA Tour event the rest of the year.

Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Shaun Micheel also missed the cut. So, too, did recent major winners Darren Clarke, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen, Graeme McDowell plus Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink.

This PGA Championship is no longer a who's who of golf, but just a "Who's that?"

"The worst is when you sign an autograph and the kid looks at you and asks what your name is, and I've gotten that a bunch of times this week," said Bradley, who is playing in his first major. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a surprise that I was up here."

Bradley, a 25-year-old PGA Tour rookie, shot a bogey-free 6-under 64 for the low round of the day.

"I'm playing some good golf, and when you're playing well it seems easy," said Bradley, who is the nephew of LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley. "I'm hitting a lot of greens, and this is the best I've putted all year."

Dufner, a 34-year-old who played college golf at Auburn, shot a 5-under 65 that included five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle.

"I wouldn't say that I expected to be 5 under after two days, but you know, I feel like I could have a chance," Dufner said. "I don't want to say that I've been there like a lot of guys, but I've had a taste of some opportunities to win some tournaments."

The last 12 majors have been won by different golfers, and only five of those will be playing this weekend.

Phil Mickelson has the best shot at stopping the streak of new winners. He shot even-par 70 but is six shots off the lead and tied for 26th place.

Angel Cabrera and Padraig Harrington are seven shots back. Rory McIlroy is eight back and Y.E. Yang is nine shots behind the leaders.

"Because there's so many guys ahead of me, I have to shoot a low number and I can't wait for anybody to come back," said Mickelson, who closed with a double-bogey on No. 18. "I don't know if past experience is going to make a difference or not. I think you've got to hit the shots and make some putts."

That's what Bradley and Dufner have done.

"People want to see Tiger, people want to see Phil, but there's other guys that can really play golf out here," Dufner said. "For guys you've never heard of to do it, that shows you how deep the fields are and how deep the events can be."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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