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Dufner, take two

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By Michael Wiliams

GolfWRX Staff Writer

Jason Dufner has had probably the most eventful 40 days and nights since Noah floated his boat. Dufner birdied the 18th hole and final hole of the HP Byron Nelson Championship to secure a one shot victory on Sunday by one stroke over Dicky Pride, becoming only the second multiple winner on the PGA Tour this year. But his run of outstanding golf began at the Masters, where he held the 54-hole lead and looked like a potential champ until the fates took a shine to Watson. But Dufner bounced back to capture his first Tour victory with in New Orleans at the Zurich Classic two weeks later. He then took a week off to get married, and after an understandably shaky showing at The Players, bagged his second of what could be the start of a slew of Tour wins. If he had taken time to buy a Powerball ticket, he probably would have won the jackpot.  It was that kind of month.

Dufner has all the pizazz of a glass of cold buttermilk. You could call him the anti-Matt Kuchar, who busts a hundred smiles to every one that Dufner manages. After his win in New Orleans, Dufner displayed none of the tearful breakdowns of most first time winners.  You could find more emotion in the long line at the motor vehicle administration than Dufner gave off after the career-changing win.

But the soft-spoken third-year pro is making a lot of noise on Tour these days. His swing produces majestic draws or elegant fades on demand. His short game exhibits touch and imagination, and his putter has stood up to the jitters that are an occupational hazard for the Tour professional.  Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dufner discovered golf when his family moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He earned a scholarship to Auburn University and cut his teeth on the Nationwide Tour before earning his way the Big Show in 2004. Dufner played hide and seek with the cut line for six years, coming close to winning on occasion but never breaking through.

He burst into the public consciousness at the 2011 PGA Championship. On a layout that was both praised and vilified as one of the toughest in the history of the championship, Dufner lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley. But even in the midst of the heartbreaking defeat, he displayed the laconic style that is perfectly suited to the high-stakes golf found in the majors and Ryder Cup.  And at 35, he seems to be moving into that magic moment when lie skills and golf skills converge to create a birdie-making, tourney winning monster.

The word is that success won’t change Jason Dufner. But after establishing himself as a strong horse in this year’s U.S. Open race, Dufner won’t be able to sneak up on anyone, no matter how quiet he is.

Michael Williams is the contributing editor of Newschannel8 Capital Golf Weekly and Bunkershot.com, as well as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.

You can follow Michael on twitter — @Michaelontv

 

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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Tour News

WATCH: Tiger Woods on Facebook Live with Bridgestone Golf

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Tiger Woods just appeared in a Bridgestone Golf Facebook Live video. While the audio isn’t the greatest (sounds like there’s some mowers rolling by), we’ve got to pass it along.

Check out the video below.

Woods initially discusses his wedges, before moving on to sharing some insights about how he hits his patented stinger–covering the ball, starting it farther right, and keeping his follow through short.

On his ball, the Bridgestone Tour B XS, which he presents as a softer ball well-suited to his swing, Woods says

“I need spin. I don’t spin the ball a lot. My swing has never produced a lot of spin. I’ve always been able to take spin off the golf ball–I grew up in an era where we played balata. What separated a lot of guys was the ability to take spin off the golf ball…to keep it below the tree line. There was a lot more movement in the golf ball.”

“My swing has naturally evolved. I’ve had different swings throughout the years, but each swing didn’t spin the ball a lot. So, when I get up to my long irons with a harder ball that most people would launch…I don’t. It falls out of the sky because it has so little spin.”

Woods mentioned that he hasn’t played Shinnecock since the course’s pre-U.S. Open makeover, but that he expects the course will be particularly difficult: an old-school U.S. Open with minimal graduated rough where it will be difficult to shoot under par.

Responding to comments, Woods sings Hazeltine’s praises and mentions he’d love to be able to wear shorts during PGA Tour events

“We play some of the hottest places on the planets and it would be nice to wear shorts…even with my little chicken legs,” Woods says.

Woods tells amateurs looking for more spin around the greens that they need a soft golf ball, mentioning that solid contact, maintaining loft, and allowing to club to do its job are key. Woods mentions that he has “a couple extra shots around the greens” thanks to the softness of his golf ball.”

We’ll next see the 14-time major champion in action at next week’s Memorial Tournament (which he discusses to wrap up the video).

 

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10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Fort Worth Invitational

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GolfWRX is on the ground at Marvin Leonard’s famed pet project, Colonial Country Club, peeking into players bags and taking in the action on the driving range.

While you’ll want to take a trip through the buffet line, we’ve made you a plate of some of the tastiest morsels.

Absolutely savage new putter cover for Jon “Rahmbo” Rahm. Just killer.

Prettier than a new penny.

Spotted: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI

Everything here is excellent. Just excellent.

More like Garsen Murray. Am I right?

If you were Aaron Wise standing over the winning putt at last week’s Byron Nelson, this is what it’d have looked like (of course, you’d have had a ball and the putter would be soled on the green, but you get the point…)

Abraham Ancer’s new Artisan wedges are simply incredible… All of this: Artisan star stellar stuff.

Rickie Fowler has gone grape.

You can’t fool me. You’re not Adam Hadwin, you’re a golf bag.

Is Patrick Cantlay considering a switch to a Cameron Napa?

Check out all our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club (par 70; 7,209 yards). The event has now been hosted here for 73 straight years.

Headlining the field this week are Jordan Spieth, who’s currently ranked No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Jon Rahm (No. 4), Justin Rose (No. 5) and Rickie Fowler (No. 6). Joining them are notables Webb Simpson, who’s coming off his win at The 2018 Players, as well as Wesley Bryan, Jason Dufner, Bryson DeChambeau, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Pat Perez, Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker, and last week’s champion, Aaron Wise.

Related

Last year, Kevin Kisner captured the second PGA Tour victory of his career after shooting a final-round, 4-under 66.

Check out our photos from the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational below.

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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