Jason Dufner’s wound healed a bit more on Sunday.
In the 2011 PGA Championship, Dufner held a five-stroke lead with four holes to play only to choke it all away and eventually lose in a playoff. At the 2012 HP Byron Nelson Championship, he proved he knows how to finish.
Dufner had no room for error. If he wanted to walk away victorious, he had to outplay Dicky Pride, Joe Durant, J.J. Henry, Jonas Blixt and Marc Leishman who were all breathing down each others necks.
Dufner had a comfortable cushion last August when his worst nightmare became reality. He possessed no cushion whatsoever on Sunday. Still, he manned up and took care of business.
In Round 4, the 35-year-old birdied two of his final three holes which clinched the win at 11-under. Richard Durrett of ESPN reported that Dufner wasn’t interested in being awarded with an extra round of golf on Sunday. He said after his triumph:
The leaderboard got jumbled up a little bit and bunched up at the top and luckily I had a nice chance there on 18 to close it out. For me, it was a little bit right to left putt and downhill. The greens were maybe a little bit slower than we're used to this week, so I felt comfortable downhill. I had a really good feel for that putt. I've been in a couple of playoffs and I wanted to close this one out and not get in a playoff.
The win was just Dufner’s second career PGA Tour victory. Earlier in 2012, he won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. To do so, he was forced to defeat Ernie Els—in a sudden-death playoff.
Now, after two triumphs following his PGA Championship letdown, Dufner looks primed to fully redeem himself with a major victory.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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