To quote Cosmo Kramer, “The library investigator’s name is actually, Bookman? That’s amazing. That’s like an ice cream man named, Cone.” With that in mind, I find it hard to believe another player on the PGA Tour could have a better name than Jason Dufner!
Earlier today Dufner entered the final round of the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana atop the leader board, holding a 2-stroke advantage over the field. However, Dufner expected he would be in for a battle all afternoon, and Ernie Els, who began the day 3-strokes behind Dufner, made it a reality with two quick birdies on the 4th and 5th holes. From that point on, it was the Els & Dufner show, trading the lead back-and-forth numerous times before settling in at 19-under to send the Classic into Sudden Death.
Both Dufner and Els made Par on the 1st playoff hole, but after Els’ drive on the 2nd playoff landed in a fairway bunker, it was clearly Dufner’s tournament to lose. He took full advantage of the opportunity, knocking in his birdie putt from less than 3-feet to claim his 1st career PGA Tour victory. It may have taken 164 PGA Events, and two losses in 2011 in other playoffs (Mark Wilson in the Waste Management Phoenix Open; Keegan Bradley in the PGA Championship), but it’s a huge milestone for Dufner. The win also moved him up to #9 in the 2012 FedExCup standings.
Like all great wins, aside from a great 4-days and 72-holes of play, it required some luck and some heroics. Fortunately, I tuned-in to the event just in time to watch the “these guys are good” magic unfold. On the Par-4 16th, Dufner nearly let his name state his claim for the round, knocking his tee shot into the muddy area alongside a water hazard. Had there not been an alligator positioned less than 10-feet from the ball, Dufner may have played the shot, but instead chose to drop and attempt to salvage Par. His approach from just over 90-yards landed over 40-feet from the hole. It was then that Dufner found the line, took a confident swing, and the ball found the bottom of the cup . . . with authority!
Just an awesome day of golf! Cannot wait to see what’s in store for next weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship, with the PLAYERS Championship to follow!