Play of the Week 30

April 30, 2012

This week’s POTW goes to none other than Jason Dufner.

Now, I know what you’re saying. Dufner just looks…bleugh. And until this week, I probably would’ve said that there isn’t much to be excited about with this guy. But watching him play yesterday, I found myself rooting his way, and, for what reason, I don’t know. To look at the guy, you wouldn’t think he was an athlete of any kind. To watch him play, he certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in American golfers.

But what Dufner loses with a shy, internalizing personality he makes up for with amazing ballstriking, short game, and a remarkably good overall game. Dufner played his college ball at Auburn, mastering the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. He finished runner-up to Trevor Immelman in the 1998 US Amateur Public Links. And, more recently, he finished second at the PGA Championship to Keegan Bradley, who practically knifed him right there on the golf course. Few people could come back from that.

Even though Dufner hadn’t come through the ranks for a win, his game is clearly tremendous. A guy who can shoot -19 in a tournament while posting a final round 70…that’s pretty amazing. While he might not have that striking and shining personality that we love to see from guys like Phil and Tiger, he also isn’t faking it. This guy is who he is, and who is he is…well, that’s one heck of a golfer.

To you, Jason Dunfer, many congratulations.

Also, a mini-POTW shout out to Ernie Els. Although Big Easy didn’t break through at the Zurich Classic and ended up falling in the playoff to Dufner, this is the first time we’ve seen him in contention in a long, long time. It’s good to see one of the classic swings of the game back in contention. Maybe we’ll harken back to the good ole Tiger/Phil/Vijay/Ernie days, back when golf was really, really exciting.

Here’s to you, Big E.

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