PITTSFORD, N.Y. - Jim Furyk's regret was tempered with satisfaction. He lost the PGA Championship Sunday -- or in his mind, it was won by a better player, Jason Dufner -- but at age 43, Furyk said he again found his game and his confidence.
For the fourth time in the four major championships this year, the man in front after 54 holes -- in this case, Furyk -- did not end up in front. His 1-over-par 71 Sunday at historic Oak Hill Country Club in the suburbs of Rochester left him at 8-under 272, two shots behind Dufner.
Yet after a summer in which Furyk missed the cut in the U.S. and British Opens, he said this championship has changed his fortunes.
"I played good this week," said Furyk, winner of one major, the 2003 U.S. Open. "I said [Saturday] I was going to go out and have fun, enjoy the round, come out and play my heart out and let it all hang out. I did that."
What he didn't do Sunday was put his tee shots in the short grass -- critical for someone whose accuracy is his greatest asset -- hitting only one fairway on the front nine and four of 14 overall. Said Furyk, "I got off to a little bit of a rocky start ball-striking-wise."
Beginning the day at 9 under and a shot ahead of Dufner, Furyk held or shared the lead until Dufner birdied the eighth hole. When Furyk bogeyed the ninth hole from one of the fairways he did hit -- "I got a little indecisive in between clubs and didn't commit to a 6-iron." -- the margin was two.
"You know I'm disappointed I didn't win the golf tournament, because I felt I really played well enough to do so," said Furyk, who also led after the first round. "But yeah, I have a lot of respect for the way Jason played.
"I don't look at it as I lost the golf tournament. I look at it as I got beat by someone who played better today."
Furyk, who led last year's U.S. Open at Olympic Club before hitting an awful tee shot on the 70th hole, attempted to be upbeat about this year's PGA.
"I tried to soak it up a little bit, watch the crowd, enjoy everyone cheering," he said. "I had an absolute blast. I didn't even do that when I won the U.S. Open."