Dufner’s tension-free swing allows him to win the U.S. PGA title

2013-08-16 00:00

AN impressive performance by American Jason Dufner last weekend at Oak Hill, Rochester, New York brought him the prestigious U.S. PGA title. He lifted the Wanamaker Trophy after a 10 under par score, beating Jim Furyk by two strokes.

Originally from Alabama, Dufner has a lazy, laid-back demeanour, almost as though he is playing a casual practice round. He is also expressionless, a double bogey or a birdie brings the same deadpan look.

Dufner’s tension-free swing made it possible for him to successfully use his driver on many holes. He did this more often than anyone else and he found the fairway time after time. This allowed him to find the greens and he had a remarkable number of short birdie putts. The rough was graduated in that the further from the fairway, the deeper it became. With the rough being so punishing, driving accuracy was of paramount importance. Apart from frequently using his driver, he took no risks and played careful, calculated golf, which included a course record 63 in the second round.

This was his first major trophy win although two years ago, he had an excellent opportunity to win the same tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club course. He led by five shots with four holes to play and dropped shots to be caught by Keegan Bradley. Dufner, who was a virtual unknown at the time, lost the play-off to Bradley and probably thought he would never have another chance to win a major golf trophy.

The many golfers who play themselves into a position to win a big tournament and crumble on the final few holes have to live with that huge disappointment. They therefore need to be mentally strong and somehow overcome such setbacks. The golf gods must have felt sorry for Dufner at Atlanta because they smiled upon him at Oak Hill, but he was notably the best player and he fully deserved his win.

Woods, Mickelson, Scott and Rose were the favourites for the tournament. Woods and Mickelson made the cut, but failed to make an impression on the leaders and Rory McIlroy showed signs of improvement with a top 10 finish. Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia remain winless in majors with 63 and 62 appearances respectively. Only Tim Clark made the cut from seven South Africans. The Aussies put us to shame: they had eight entrants and six of them made the cut with two in the top 10. These results will pose a selection problem for Nick Price, who captains the Rest of the World team in the Presidents Cup scheduled for early October.

From the 19th hole:

Three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf. These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other:

Sam said, “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.”

Harry said, “99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.”

Fred said, “The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

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