Just a few short weeks ago, Jason Dufner was a single guy searchin’ for his first PGA Tour title. Over the last 30 days, that all changed. On April 29, Dufner clenched his first victory at New Orleans. Then he tied the knot a week later. Now, he’s won big again after an intense playoff at the Byron Nelson Championship. What a difference a month makes, eh Rockheads?
With a staggerin’ 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday in Irving, Texas, Dufner closed out a one-shot victory over Dicky Pride to win for the second time in four weeks. Even Dufner had to admit that his story was just about fairytale worthy.
“You couldn’t dream it any better,” Dufner said. “The wedding has been in the works for close to a year, so we know that’s been coming around the corner. 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.”
This Sunday’s check brings with it not only the title of “champion,” but also a nice $1.17 million check. The closing birdie wrapped up a 3-under 67 round for an 11-under 269 to avoid a playoff with Pride.
Part of this here caveman can’t help but feel a little sorry for Pride. Where the past month has been outstanding for Dufner, the past few years (Tour-wise at least) have not been kind to Pride, whose only tour win came in 1994. Sunday saw him 10 under with a par-saving 22-foot putt at No. 18 for a round of 67 after hitting his drive into the water. Dufner, playing with J.J. Henry, actually made his putt on virtually the same line. Like a true sportsman, Pride took the putt in stride.
“Apparently that was not a very difficult putt on the 18, from the long right,” Pride said chuckling.
This weekend was also a big one for the ladies of the links. On the LPGA Tour, Azahara Munoz beat Candie King 2 and 1 to clench the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J. Munoz and her partner, Morgan Pressel, were put on warning about slow play after nine holes and put on the clock after No. 11.
The 12th hole changed everything.
After winning it with par to take a 3-up lead, tour official Doug Brecht informed her she was being penalized for slow play. By taking 2:09 to play her three shots, Pressel came in 39 seconds over the 30-second limit per shot. The penalty for going over the time limit in match play – a loss of the previous hole. This meant that the slower Munoz was handed the hole.
“What bothers me the most is that we were given sufficient warning and she really didn’t do anything to speed up and then I was penalized for it,” said a tearful Pressel. The time penalty was the first in Pressel’s seven years on the tour. “Both of us were slow and she was the only one getting penalized, and that was not fair,” said Munoz, who won $375,000.
If this past weekend shows us anything, it’s that whether it’s a month, a few years, or even a few seconds time really does change it all. Of course, ya don’t really have to tell that to a caveman.