Dufner returns, a champion

AUBURN -- Former Auburn golfer Jason Dufner has been knocking on the door of his first PGA Tour win. Sunday, it opened.

Photo courtesy Stan Badz/PGA Tour.

Dufner won the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La., sinking a short birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat veteran Ernie Els. It was a huge moment for Dufner, who joined the PGA Tour in 2004 and was playing in his 164th tournament.

“I’ve been doing this for about 12 years now, which is a short span for some guys but to me seems a lifetime,” Dufner said. “It’s always nice to work hard at something, try to get better at something, progress step by step and get this win and kind of take a lot of pressure off myself as far as, ‘When is this guy going to win?’ It was really nice.”

Dufner made the signature shot of the tournament when he saved par on the 16th hole Sunday with a 44-foot putt.

“Sometimes things like that happen to guys that win,” he said. “It’s never really happened to me before. Usually, I’m on the other end of it so it was nice to see that putt go in and get a win. That was definitely exciting.”

Dufner returned to his home in Auburn late Sunday night with his fiance, Amanda Boyd. They will be married in Auburn this Saturday. Approximately 40 family members, friends and supporters were there to greet him at the Auburn University airport when they arrived.

“Every week I play I get tons of support from Auburn folks,” he said. “A lot of War Eagles and just people pulling for me in general, especially down here in the South. There’s seems to be a pretty strong Auburn connection everywhere I go.”

Dufner earned $1,152,000 for the victory, pushing his total to nearly $2 million this year, which is 10th on the Tour. He is now tied for ninth in the FedEx Cup standings with 932 points.

Most importantly, he’s got his first PGA win under his belt after three runner-up finishes including last year’s PGA Championship.

“They can’t take that away from me. It took me a little bit longer than I liked but it’s a nice feeling to be a champion on the PGA Tour,” he said.

Dufner is the first Auburn golfer to win a PGA Tour event since John Huston won the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in 2003.



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