At least he was still in the game, along with plenty of company.
He finished with four birdies on his last five holes Thursday.
Dufner was at 14-under 130, one better than the 36-hole score of Scott Hoch in 1987 and Fowler in 2010. Dufner found his worst trait in putting was not having a consistent routine and getting too fast, nearly as if he wanted to get it over with quickly.
Dufner called his third round "pretty pathetic on all accounts, " but added, "I'm still in this tournament".
Things did not go according to plan for Dufner from the outset following four consecutive bogeys, starting at the second hole. He started his back nine birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie.
He had said his breathing exercises over putting didn't mean he would always have good days, and this was a bad one. He already was eight shots back when he teed off later in the day, and all he managed was a 72.
"A lot of luck with it going in", Dufner said. "It will be over tomorrow". "That was probably the most nervous I've ever felt". A train wreck can happen at any moment.
He also has some good career mojo in OH, having won the Web.com Tour's 2007 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational at the Scarlett Course at OSU Golf Club.
He carded the first of his three bogeys on the day at the par-4 18th hole to make the turn at 2 under.
His only blemish so far was a bogey on the par-four 18th in the first round, but the OH native claimed his revenge by sinking his second shot for eagle on that hole yesterday.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson followed up his opening 78 with a 74 and missed the cut, two weeks before defending his US Open title.
MALMO, Sweden - English golfer Chris Wood moved into a one-stroke lead despite a bogey in his last hole in the third round of the Nordea Masters. His tee shot ended up short of the green in a bunker, and he proceeded to drill the flagstick and the ball fell into the cup. Neither has won on the tour.
Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, who eagled the par-five ninth, was two strokes behind after a 70.
Nine of the 12 Australians who began the week have qualified for the weekend, Greg Chalmers, Rod Pampling, Cameron Smith, Jason Day, Matthew Griffin and Curtis Luck all the right side of 3-over.
Lydia Ko will relinquish her world No. 1 ranking Sunday, ending an 84-week reign at the top of women's golf. I made some nice pars and rolled in some putts, " Dufner said.