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Simon Dyson improved 38 places with his seven-birdie, one-bogey 64 Sunday at Southern Hills. (Photo: Getty Images)
Simon Dyson improved 38 places with his seven-birdie, one-bogey 64 Sunday at Southern Hills. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dyson surprises himself with super 64 at Southern Hills

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England's Simon Dyson took two weeks off before the 89th PGA Championship, during which he didn't touch a club. He might want to make that strategy a regular routine because on Sunday his stellar 6-under 64 gave him his best finish in a major.

By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

TULSA, Okla. -- For a guy who always thought his best chance at playing well in a major would be in an Open Championship, England's Simon Dyson might want to rethink that notion after his final-round in the 89th PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

The 29-year-old Dyson -- a two-time winner on the European Tour in 2006 -- went out early on Sunday and surged up the leaderboard with a dazzling 6-under-par 64 that put him at even-par 280 for the championship. His front nine of 4-under 31 was the best of the week.

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"I always thought my best chance of doing well in a major would be the British Open because obviously I've played a lot of links golf," he said. "But, yeah, my best finish has been like 35th or something in the British Open. So to finish in the top 10 in the U.S. PGA, which is the top 100 players in the world, it's something I'll savor for a long time unless I do something better the next couple of years."

To be fair, Dyson's best finish was actually a tie for 34th at the 2005 Open Championship, but Sunday's 64 ensured a new best and possibly a top 10.

The finish was particularly sweet for Dyson as he closed out the round by holing a 20-footer for birdie on the difficult 18th hole.

"It's a dream come true, really," he said. "It's such a good par 4. When I stood on the tee, if somebody said you can have 4, I would have walked straight in and taken it. But I had a good drive. I was a little blocked out. I had a great 6-iron, probably the best shot all day and happened to get a soft bounce. It was an uphill putt, so I knew I could give it a go. But as soon as it came off I knew I had a chance. Yeah, just a great feeling to get back to level par and shoot 64 is special, really."

Dyson was on fire right out of the gate with birdies on four of his first six holes, highlighted by a 50-footer he holed at No. 6. His lone bogey on the day was because of a three-putt at No. 10.

"Everything just seemed to click today," he said. "It was good. I drove the ball well, which you've really got to do around here and managed to find the flag with some irons as well and had some putts. One of the best days I've had for a long time."

After a long stretch without a break on the European Tour that included missed cuts in his last two starts, Dyson decided it was time to take some time off.

During that two-week hiatus, he said he didn't touch his clubs. Instead, he went to the gym and spent time with friends. Then, when he arrived in Tulsa last Saturday, he got excited about playing again.

"My head was somewhere where it shouldn't be. And I just thought I needed to recharge the batteries and get my appetite back," he said. "And it certainly seems to have worked because I got here Saturday and I couldn't wait to get out on Sunday, and I couldn't wait to tee up on Thursday whereas the last couple of tournaments back in Europe I've not really looked forward to teeing it up on Thursday. It's kind of a formality. So it's something I'll definitely look into doing a lot more of here, if I get these results at the end of it, yeah, definitely."

In his dream final round, Dyson hit 13 greens in regulation and needed just 25 putts. Afterward, he said that Sunday's score was right up there with the feelings he experienced after his wins.

"It's equally as good," he said. "To win is very special. But to come over here, I've only been over here twice before. I played in the 2005 at Pinehurst U.S. Open and I was in the 2001 AmEx that got cancelled (due to the events of Sept. 11). I've only played like two competitive rounds. So to come and do it over here, it feels really good, especially like my pal Nick Dougherty, he finished seventh in the U.S. Open, to do something like what he's done. I was pleased for him. I'm sure he's pleased for me."

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