Video: Dufner breaks through in the Bayou
It wasn't the most emotional reaction we've ever seen (OK, so it may have been the least emotional reaction), but Jason Dufner's win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans certainly was still a feel-good story. After several close calls, most notably losing in a playoff to Keegan Bradley at last year's PGA Championship, the 35-year old finally broke through for his first win on tour.
"To get the monkey off of my back, it's a great feeling," he said after.
Even more impressive was the manner in which it happened. Dufner found the water on 16, but made a 35-footer to save par, then made another clutch par save on No. 17. He then topped a three-time major winner, Ernie Els, on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Here are the highlights from an exciting final round that also included a charge by Luke Donald, who reclaimed the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking:
As for Els, the Big Easy may have come up just short in the Big Easy, but the result was more proof that he's finding the form that made him a Hall of Famer and a two-time winner on tour as recently as 2010. This was Els' third top-five finish in his last five starts, moving him up to No. 40 in the world ranking.
With the win, Dufner moves up to a career-high of No. 20 in the ranking, though, he probably won't be thinking about that for too long. Next weekend will be memorable as well, but it won't involve the golf course. Instead, Dufner will be getting married. Not a bad week, indeed.
-- Alex Myers