Future Hall of Famer? Maybe not. But these folks love Dufner.
Tonite we'll witness Hollis Stacy, Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss, and our own Phil Mickelson and Dan Jenkins enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. I suspect that Jason Dufner, who just won his first tournament, is a ways away from that honor. But the unflappable Dufner, subject of Jim Moriarty's recent report in Golf World after Dufner beat Ernie Els in playoff, is on the right track to winning Golf's People's Choice Awards. And you know what? That goes a long way with this reader....and his son.
Jim Moriarty's article, "(Little) Easy Does It," was fantastic. I was not aware of Jason Dufner's golf ability until I started paying attention to him after the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straights. I took my boys ages 11 and 9 to a practice round. After a few hours of chasing players and asking for autographs, my oldest watched Dufner, by himself, on the practice green. After a little while, Dufner noticed my son and went in his bag, retrieved a glove and signed it for him. Dufner walked back to the practice green to hit some more putts. Meanwhile, the younger brother came over to see why his older brother was so excited. He showed him his new treasure and the younger brothers shoulders immediately slouched and the sigh, although ever so suttle was felt like an anvil and I as a parent, I went into restoration mode. While trying deflect the nature of my sons prize, the eldest son was waving the glove behind me showcasing his valued prize and saying everything short of "na na na boo boo." While this was going on Mr. Dufner must have been watching this all unfold because he reached in his bag and gave the youngest another signed glove and both a golf ball. I don't know who was more excited, my youngest son or their Dad who was not looking forward to a two hour drive home. I thanked him for deflating a potential war in the back seat. He smirked and thanked us for coming out to watch. The Little Easy has three more enormous fans.
Mike Carnell, Brookfield, WI
Gary Player, the Hall's (and golf's) ubiquitous ambassador of good cheer, toasted the inductees last night at the Welcome Dinner. Player's enthusiasm and appreciation for the game once again left a lasting impression. It's not a stretch to say that players like Dufner, who inspire letters like this one, that will keep that flame of fan appreciation alive.