Jason Dufner

Jason Dufner follows through on his tee shot at No. 15 on Friday during the second round of the 95th PGA Championship. (Stuart Franklin / Getty Images / August 9, 2013)

The uphill putt just didn’t have enough steam, stopping a foot short of the cup.

That’s how close Jason Dufner came to setting the record for the lowest round ever in a major golf tournament. Missing birdie at No. 18 was a rare disappointment in his otherwise exceptional afternoon at the PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y.

Dufner walked away with a 63 –- making him the 24th player to shoot that low in a major –- and held the clubhouse lead with a 9-under at Oak Hills Country Club.

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The poker-faced Ohioan shrugged it off, saying: “I’m just happy to be in this position going into the weekend.”

Not that he could feel too relaxed.

The trio of Matt Kuchar, Adam Scott and Jim Furyk stood two strokes behind him at 7-under. Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Marcus Fraser were three strokes back.

“The guys in the afternoon were able to take advantage of some soft conditions and make some birdies,” said Kuchar, who finished with a round of 66.

All those low scores figured to put the cut line at 3-over by day’s end.  The likes of Tiger Woods (even), Phil Mickelson (2-over) and Brandt Snedeker (3-over) seemed likely to survive.

As for Dufner, he settled for the competitive course record at Oak Hill, moving past Ben Hogan, Curtis Strange and Webb Simpson, who had tied the previous mark of 64 earlier on Friday.

Still, he couldn’t help thinking about that last putt.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I showed a little bit of nerves there, leaving it short.”

[Update, 4 p.m.: The buzz at Oak Hill eventually quieted – the fans done with their chants of “63! 63!” – and there wasn’t much excitement left.

Robert Garrigus, a leader at one point, dropped to 5-under. Woods bogeyed No. 18 but still made his way to the weekend at 1-over.

Dustin Johnson made birdie on No. 17 to reach the cut number of 3-over. Bubba Watson and Davis Love III weren’t as fortuante. Neither was Charl Schwartzel, slipping with two bogeys at the end to finish at 4-over.

Adam Rose left the premises with a warning: “The course will show its teeth at some point this week. The greens will get firm and fast, especially by Sunday, and Oak Hill will always need to be respected, that's for sure.”]

Jason Dufner takes the lead | 2:08 p.m.

Heading into Friday’s play at the PGA Championship, standing at a respectable but unspectacular 2-under par, Jason Dufner was asked about what he hoped to accomplish in the second round.

“Just keep doing what I’m doing,” he said.

It would be fair to suggest the Ohio native has missed that particular mark.