The PGA Championship leaderboard still has a few leaders crowded together headed into the back nine. The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open had lopsided results by the end - yet this major tournament is ending up much closer. But that chance is small if no one makes a bigger move to challenge Jason Dufner.
A few players have moved up the PGA Championship leaderboard like Luke Donald, David Toms and Lee Westwood. They are all still looking up at Dufner, who has sole possession of the lead at -9 overall through the first nine holes.
Keegan Bradley is still in range at -7 while Robert Karlsson has surged into third place -6. No. 1 ranked Luke Donald has finally made a move into a tie for fourth at -5 with 2001 champion David Toms - while the likes of Lee Westwood and Adam Scott are lurking at -4.
The only leader to fall off the pace has been Brendan Steele as he fell to -3 overall through the front nine. In contrast, his playing partner Dufner has stayed on course and opened up the lead by himself. He has been the most consistent contender and has been bogey free through the first nine holes.
If Dufner stays mistake free, he should stay on top of the PGA Championship leaderboard right until the end. Otherwise it would take a string of birdies for the likes of Bradley, Karlsson, Donald or Toms to close the gap.
There are few major stars left in contention in this tournament, although a thrilling finish on the last few holes would help make up for it. This year's Masters, U.S. Open and British Open had no suspense left at the end thanks to winners Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke. Unless Dufner gives up a few bogeys, the PGA Championship will have also have a free leaderboard by this tournament's 72'nd hole.
There is still a window of opportunity for the other golfers to catch Dufner. In another hour or two, that window could close fairly rapidly unless Dufner makes a mistake or his challengers have a string of birdies left in them.