April 9, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. - With just five holes remaining, former Auburn All-American Jason Dufner Dufner (72-147) fired four birdies, fighting his way above Friday's cutline at the Masters.
Currently tied for 40th, Dufner's strong finish placed him just one stroke above the cut.
Struggling early, the Cleveland, Ohio, native approached the 14th tee at 4-over for the day. Birdies on 14 and 16, followed by a converted 12-footer for birdie on 17, moved Dufner into 1-over.
A close approach to the 18th green left Dufner within three feet of the pin. Although sinking the putt, the three-time All-SEC selection entered the clubhouse below the projected cutline. Regardless, as the round wore on and the scorecards rolled in, his position improved into a tie for 44th and eventually 40th.
Auburn Director of Golf Mike Griffin was on hand for Dufner's late surge.
"I was very impressed with the way Jason handled the closing holes today," said Griffin. "He hit some fabulous shots under extremely trying conditions. Jason showed a lot of class today. I know he is excited about this new challenge as he continues to grow and learn as a golfer."
Dufner is set to tee of at 11:25 a.m. CST with Geoff Ogilvy.
The 2010 Masters is his first appearance at the event and his third showing at a Major Championship. The class of 2000 Auburn economics major earned his 2009 PGA Tour Card after an 11th place finish in the final stage of the PGA Qualifying School in La Quinta, Calif.
On the PGA Tour, Dufner has accumulated $3,679, 360 since his first conditional appearance in 2001. In all, the former Tiger has made the cut in 64-of-113 PGA Tour events including eight career top 10 and 20 top 25 finishes. Dufner earned tour cards in 2004 and 2007 following top 10 finishes on the Nationwide Tour Money list in the preceding seasons.