Ladies and Gentlemen from Auburn, Alabama the 2013 PGA Champion….Jason Dufner
Actually the first tee announcer said “From Auburn, Alabama….Jason Dufner” That will change to the title of this piece from now on. The Duf did it!!!
I confess, I am a golfer, made a pretty good living at it for 22 years, still play, and get almost as fired up watching my favorite pros do well as I do watching the Tigers do well at football. Being fired up was an understatement today watching the Duf bring it home for his first Major Championship.
He started the day one stroke back of Jim Furyk, but birdied 4 and 5 to go one up. For the rest of the round he put on a display of ball striking that was a thing of beauty. Most other pros, afraid of Oak Hills super deep rough were hitting irons or fairway woods off the tee to keep it in play. Not Jason, he pulled driver after driver and piped it down the middle time after time. With the extra length off the tee he had short irons into a lot of greens and he stoned a lot of them. In one 5 hole stretch today his longest putt was just over 6 feet and he had two that you could have blown in to the hole.
There were some tense moments during the round and you could see that inside the shell of cool that he displays on the course, the nerves were there. On a couple of short putts, he was shakey and I held my breath but he wiggled them in, one that he should have missed caught the lip and spun in. For a little while today I was worried that he would fold and repeat the 2011 PGA when he had a 3 shot lead with 3 holes to play and wound up losing in a playoff to Keagan Bradley. He hung tough today and finished the deal.
I have played competitive golf for over 30 years and let me tell you folks, to do what he did, under that pressure, was beyond fantastic.
He wound up bogeying the 17th and 18th hole but Furyk also did so it was a two shot win for his first major title.
He is a Ben Hogan disciple and patterns his golf game and mind set after Hogan, but way cooler. On one hole today, he missed a makeable putt and slapped his leg in disgust. CBS announcer David Feherety said that for Jason that was the equal to a hissy fit for him.
Jason has a house and land in Auburn, (when you win as much money as he has you can afford it), and he sent his wife Amanda out on the course on Saturday to gather acorns to plant when he got back home. The Oak Hill CC folks got word of that and gave him a seedling to take back to Auburn with him. I would love to see it planted at Toomers Corner. Don’t bet it won’t be.
Jason is a true Auburn man, he lives there, loves the Tigers and works with the golf team on his own time. Congratulations and a big War Eagle to Jason.
Ladies and Gentlemen, now on the tee from Auburn, Alabama…the 2013 PGA Champion…Jason Dufner.
I had to say that one more time, it just sounds so good.
War Eagle Duf, way to get it done!!!