Jason Dufner Takes Runner-Up At The Phoenix Open
Feb. 7, 2011
PHOENIX - Former Auburn All-American Jason Dufner fell to Mark Wilson on the second playoff hole Monday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.
The class of 2000 Auburn grad came back to tie Wilson with late birdies on holes 16 and 17. In all, Dufner carded four consecutive rounds in the 60s to go 18-under. His 72-hole total of 266 was a new career low.
"I came up a little short in the playoff, but had a good chance," said Dufner. "I made a couple of birdies to put a little heat on Mark (Wilson), and he played great. (Wilson) had a great two-putt on the first playoff hole from 70-plus feet and makes a birdie on the next hole."
Dufner opened the Phoenix Open carding a 6-under 65, his lowest round since kicking off the 2010 PGA season with a fourth-round 64 at the Sony Open.
"I think I only had two bogeys for the week, so you really can't complain about that," said Dufner. "I was a little bit surprised yesterday, and even today, that I wasn't quite as nervous or as tight as people might like to think. I was pretty comfortable."
With Monday's earnings of $660,000, Dufner has accumulated over $5 million in earnings since his first conditional appearance in 2001. In all, the former Tiger has picked up 11 top 10s and 25 top 25s in 133 PGA events. He was aiming for his first career PGA victory after tying for second at the 2009 Deutsche Bank Championship.
In 2010, Dufner earned his first invitation to The Master's where he tied for 30th.
"I'm a pretty low-key guy," said Dufner. "I would have loved to have won this tournament today, but it's not the end of the world. We're going to Pebble Beach next week and I'm going to have a chance to win that tournament."
"That's just part of the maturing process. A lot of guys go through it. You see some guys struggle for a couple years and then they start playing great golf and playing to their potential."
Dufner, who still resides in Auburn, watched the 2011 BCS National Championship Game prior to the Sony Open with fellow Auburn teammate and current PGA golfer Roland Thatcher.
"I was in Hawaii," said Dufner. "I had taken three and a half months off and felt like it was probably the best time to start back even though I would have like to have taken another week to go to the game. I've got a lot of friends who were texting me about how great things happen for Auburn people in Phoenix."
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