In 2011, Dufner was in the driver seat late Sunday at the PGA Championship. His lead was so large, he nearly grasped the Wanamaker at Atlanta Athletic Club. But, a rocky finish placed Dufner in a playoff, which he eventually lost. That playoff loss seemed to have fueled Dufner throughout the 2012 Season, accumulating two wins and laying down a stellar Ryder Cup performance; however, the major that he let slip away in 2011 still alluded him.
Two years removed from a major heartbreak, Dufner was poised again to take home the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY. Beginning the day one stroke off the 54 hole lead, thanks to a second round course record setting 63, Dufner came out on Sunday striping down the narrow tree lined corridors Oak Hill calls fairways and knocking down flags on the small historic greens.
Consecutive birdies on four and five from kick-in range gave Dufner the outright lead. In typical Dufner-fashion, sauntering around the course showing little emotion, Dufner made the turn in 32 strokes. He was, again, in control late at the PGA Championship. Continuing to play smart, solid golf, Dufner made another birdie from tap-in range at the par four 16th hole to keep his lead at two strokes. Dufner kept his lead at two over the final two holes to close out the PGA Championship as a major winner.
"I decided I was going to be confident and put my best foot forward and play aggressive and try to win this thing," Dufner said in his usual casual manner. "I wasn't going to play scared or soft. It's a big step for my career."
This is the third win of Jason's career and first of the 2013 season.
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Zach Johnson held off fellow FJ staffer, Jason Dufner to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth, TX. Dufner, coming off two wins in the past month, had the upper hand beginning the round with a one stroke lead over Johnson.
Johnson in DryJoys Tour MyJoys and StaSof, struck first birdieing the second hole to Dufner's bogey. Dufner (FJ Apparel and FJ ICON) fought back with birdies at five and six to retake the lead. Johnson remained steady and both players headed to the back nine tied.
On the par five 11th Johnson birdied to Dufner's bogey creating a two shot lead for the Iowa native. Johnson extended the lead on the 15th hole to three shots. Johnson would not relinquish his lead eventually winning by one stroke over Dufner.
“In some respects, I kind of feel like I took down a lion,” Johnson said of Dufner post round, adding, "He’s been at the top of his game.”
This is Johnson's eighth PGA Tour victory and first since winning the Crown Plaza Invitational in 2010. The win also moves Johnson to third in the FedEx Cup race while Dufner remains at the top.
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Jason Dufner (XPS-1 and FJ Apparel) won the HP Byron Nelson Championship in dramatic fashion by holing a 25 foot birdie putt on the last hole of regulation to win by one over fellow FJ staffer, Dicky Pride (FJ Sport and SciFlex).
Beginning the day with the lead, Dufner fell behind with early bogeys on two and three. He bounced back quickly with a birdie on the fourth, fifth, and seventh holes to join the leaders at nine under par.
He added a birdie at ten to retake the lead alone. Dufner, first in greens in regulation and second in driving accuracy, birdied the sixteenth hole to keep pace with surging playing competitors. On the final hole, with a hazard left and trees right, Dufner launched his tee ball straight up the middle. With only a short wedge shot left, Dufner played a shot to the middle of the green, 25 feet from the pin. He then poured in the downhill, right to left putt for the one stroke victory.
Post round Dufner stated, "You probably couldn't dream it any better than what's been going on
here" Continuing, "The wedding has been in the works for close to a
year, so we know that's been coming around the corner. And there's been a
lot of good golf since then, but to win two events and get married in
the span of 22 days, pretty remarkable."
This is Dufner's second win in his past three starts. The win also moves him to the top spot on the FedEx Cup leaderboard and into third place on the Ryder Cup points list.
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Jason Dufner has been on the cusp of winning several tournaments in the past two years and today he fulfilled his potential by claiming the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Through the first three rounds of play, Dufner shot rounds of 67-65-67 to sit atop the leaderboard at 17-under par, two clear of his competition heading into Sunday's final round.
Dufner, wearing XPS-1 and FJ Apparel, started off the day with five straight pars before a bogey on the sixth hole that dropped him from the lead. He rebounded quickly with back-to-back birdies on seven and eight to retake the top spot. Dufner added another birdie at 10 to retain his lead. Then after several gutsy back nine par saves, Dufner's drive on the par four 16th found a hazard. With an alligator lurking nearby, Dufner wisely took a drop and hit his ball to the right side of the green. Now looking at 40-plus feet for par to stay tied for the lead, Dufner calmly rolled in the improbable putt to keep his momentum. After grinding out two more pars on 17 and 18, Dufner was headed to a sudden death playoff.
Both players exchanged pars on the opening playoff hole and they headed back to the 18th tee for the third time today. This time Dufner seized the moment, hitting the par five 18th in two shots and making a routine two putts for birdie and the victory. This is Dufner's first PGA Tour win. Post round Dufner stated of his winning performance, "I am really, really excited and to get the monkey off my back is a great feeling".
Luke Donald (FJ ICON MyJoys) also put on an impressive performance, shooting a final round 67 to finish solo third and retaking the number one spot on the Official World Golf Rankings.
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Mark Wilson began the day with a 2 stroke lead in the frost delayed Waste Management
Open over fellow FootJoy player Jason Dufner. Dufner (FJ Sport) birdied the
famed par 3 16th and the drivable par 4 17th to force a playoff with
Wilson. After exchanging pars on the first playoff hole, Wilson laid back with his tee shot and struck a smooth 7 iron approach that set up a 9 footer for the win. Wilson, trusting FJ Icon Style # 52354 and a
SciFlex glove emerged
from the playoff to win the Waste Management Open for his second victory in
only three starts this season. "I'm just enjoying the ride here and that's just kind of the way I'm
going to look at the year here, just ride this train as long as I can,"
Wilson said of the victory.