Dufner keeps getting better (video)
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship | Wrap | 21 May 2012
Jason Dufner has made it two victories from three starts with a one shot win over Dicky Pride at the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Dallas.
Dufner holed a lengthy birdie putt at the final hole to edge clear of Dicky Pride and a group of four players one shot further back.
Dufner lead into the final round but two early bogeys threatened his chances. The outwardly unflappable character bounced back immediately with a series of birdies however and playing the last he was tied with Pride who, playing in the group ahead of him, had found water.
Pride managed to hole a remarkable 20 foot putt for par to remain tied with Dufner but the game’s latest star would have the final say with a lengthy putt of his own for birdie to win by one over Pride with a further shot back to Australian Marc Leishman, rookie Jonas Blixt, Joe Durant and J.J. Henry.
Dufner moves to the top of the FedEx Cup table which, considering one month ago he had yet to win his first PGA Tour event, is quite extraordinary.
Dufner, currently number 21 in the world ranking will also move considerably higher, perhaps inside the top ten.
“Great week for me golfwise,” said the winner. "Tough conditions throughout the week. Today was easier. That’s why I think you saw the leaderboard jam up there toward the top, made for exciting golf toward the end. Good bit of guys had a chance to claim the trophy.
“It was nice to have a birdie putt there at the end to win, and not to be in a playoff for once. So just all in all a great week the last month. You couldn’t ask for anything more professionally or personally, for what’s been going on.”
“There were times in New Orleans where I felt like I was out of it, then there was no way I was going to lose, then I was out of it, and you get these flip‑flopping emotions. Today I didn’t have that as much. I always felt like I was in there, I just needed a little something to happen, to go my way, and fortunately a couple of things went bad for guys finishing on those last couple of holes, and I was able to play those last three in 2‑under. That’s the difference as to why I was able to get the victory and stay patient.
“You probably couldn’t dream it any better than what’s been going on here,” he added referring to his great spell on and off the golf course. "The wedding has been in the works for close to a year so‑‑ I guess I proposed in Julyof last 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. Amanda and I are lucky to be in the position we’re in and to have each other and enjoy what’s going on around us right now.
The story of the final few holes was that of J.J. Henry who will remember this final day for both good and bad. A hole in one at his 5th hole and two birdies late in his round had him at 11 under and in the lead when he reached the 17th tee. A 7 iron appeared too much club and so it was as he flew through the green and left himself a difficult up and down.
He added to the pain by three putting from 25 feet and the double bogey saw him lose his chance to win his first PGA Tour event in six years.
Leishman actually had the lead at 10 under par for a brief period in his final nine holes but a bogey at the 17th saw him eventually finish in the four way tie for third. Still, it was a finish worth US$315,000 to him and further confirmation of the quality player he is.
Jason Day appeared as if he might challenge for his second Byron Nelson title but he was never really able to build any momentum after an early bogey and a double bogey at his final hole would see him finish in a share of 9th. That hole alone has costs Day five shots this week.
The PGA Tour will now move to nearby Fort Worth for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club.
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