Jason Dufner Takes Career Builder Challenge in Playoff
La Quinta, California – There were a few pars on Sunday that mattered when all was on the line for Jason Dufner. An incredible chip from the rocks beside the 17th green was one, a clutch 12 footer to keep the playoff alive with David Lingmerth was number two, and his routine par on the second playoff hole was the clincher. On a day where Dufner started the day leading Jamie Lovemark by two and Adam Hadwin by three strokes, he shot a solid but unspectacular 70 to reach -25. However it was not, Lovemark or Hadwin that challenged, it was Lingmerth (65), Andrew Loupe (68) and fan favorite Phil Mickelson (68) who made it interesting. Loupe and Mickelson finished tied for third at 21 under par (four shots back). The win was the fourth of Dufner’s career and his first since his PGA Championship victory at Oak Hill in 2013.
Dufner has had to overcome a very messy public divorce, and some health issues early last year which prompted Dufner to lose over 30 lbs. A new putter coupled with some confidence on the greens was an obvious difference in his game at PGA West this week.
Dufner seemed more relieved than excited as he was interviewed after his round: “It’s pretty tough, there’s great players out here every week, playing great golf courses . . . this is the best tour in the world – so for me to win this week, I feel like I’m one of the best players in the world this week. It’s not easy, but it feels good when you do it.”