Can Jason Dufner Change His Legacy with Yesterday’s PGA Victory?
It’ll take more than a major championship to make us forget Dufnering.
Before his scorching round of 63 on Friday, most casual golf fans knew Jason Dufner as the guy who choked away the 2011 PGA Championship, or the guy who trumped Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin III, and “The Dude Who Invented Planking” in the internet meme pantheon. A refresher (in case you haven’t watched SportsCenter this morning): the paunchy, soul-patched Southerner blew a 5-shot lead to lose 2011’s final major to his buddy Keegan Bradley at the Atlanta Country Club. To add infamy to injury, in April, Bradley tweeted a photo of Dufner looking like the world’s, biggest, most bored kindergartner when the two were visiting a grade school in Dallas. Almost overnight, a meme was born, with fellow golfers (Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedecker, Bradley), golf WAGs (Tiger Woods’ girlfriend Lindsay Vonn, posing with Dufner himself), golf legends (Jack Nicklaus), and more adopting the pose.
Neither his internet fame nor his choke two years ago is quite what an elite golfer wants to be remembered for, but with his 2-stroke victory yesterday at Oak Hill in Pittsfield, NY, Dufner at least has something else to add to the first sentence of his obituary.
“I’ve had leads in majors and not pulled through,” said Dufner after his victory. “I always felt like that was going to make me a better player and more confident the next time that I had a chance. And, for whatever reason today, I felt really comfortable, really calm and felt like I could do it.”
But who are we kidding. It’ll take a few more majors to make us forget Dufnering.
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