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Golf: Another major near miss easier to take for Furyk

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jim Furyk still has not won a title in almost three years but the 43-year-old American's disappointment in losing the PGA Championship was eased Sunday because he was simply outplayed.

Furyk made bogeys on the final two holes even as leader Jason Dufner did the same, giving Dufner his first major title by two strokes and leaving Furyk disappointed but not feeling like he lost an event he should have won.

"There are other times I really felt like the tournament slipped through my fingers and out of my grasp and I was definitely disappointed," Furyk said.

"I'm disappointed I didn't win because I really felt like I played well enough to do so. But I have a lot of respect for the way Jason played and how well he struck the ball.

"I don't know if it makes anything easy or less easy but I don't look at it as I lost the golf tournament. I got beat by somebody that played better."

Dufner had squandered a four-stroke lead with four holes to play to lose the 2011 PGA Championship while Furyk, the 2003 US Open champion, had blown 54-hole leads last year, including one at the US Open,

"At the end of that tournament, I felt like I lost the tournament," Furyk said. "Today I feel like I got beat. I didn't beat myself, I don't think."

But Furyk squandered another 54-hole lead, having been atop Dufner by a stroke when the day began.

"I have no regrets. I played my heart out," Furyk said. "I gave it a heck of a shot.

"Wish I could have put a little heat on him and made him work those last two holes a little bit. I wasn't able to do that. It's a little bit of a thorn in my side. But he played well."

Dufner set up tap-in birdies with solid iron shots at the fifth, eighth and 16th holes, the last one matched by Furyk from 10 feet to force the fight to the final holes, the two toughest of the week at Oak Hill.

"Those three iron shots where he hit it tap-in distance and I didn't hit it as crisp -- I didn't play quite as good a round," Furyk said. "It was a good solid round but got beat by a guy that played better.

"He didn't miss many fairways and he hit some really good iron shots. He hit it to a foot (from the cup) on five, eight and 16. I mean, tap-in birdies. He hit the ball in play very solidly and made enough putts to separate himself from the field."

Furyk, 43, had been feeling frustrated about not having won any title since the 2010 US PGA Tour Championship but felt rejuvenated after his near-miss at Oak Hill.

"I feel good about my chances in the future," Furyk said. "I'm disappointed but I'm kind of re-energized. I was worn out and I wasn't having fun out there. Now I've got some energy and I'm looking forward to playing.

"I am disappointed. It has been a while since I have won and I've had some chances to close the door and haven't done it.

"I guess it's days like this that will make the next one sweeter."

js/gph

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130811/golf-another-major-near-miss-easier-take-furyk