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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jason Dufner Handles Major Collapse Well

Jason Dufner blew a lead in the final round of the PGA Championship and lost to Keegan Bradley in a playoff. Dufner, who is winless on the PGA Tour, bogeyed three straight holes at the end of his final round. He also bogeyed the 17th in their three-hole playoff to lose the tournament.

One of the worst aspects of the collapse is the success Dufner had on the final four holes the rest of the tournament. The previous three rounds, Dufner went a combined three under on holes 15-18 without making a bogey. But when it counted the most, he burped big time.

Credit Dufner for maintaining a strong perspective after blowing the biggest opportunity of his life.

“I’m not a history buff as far as golf goes,” he said after the tournament. “I know the media tries to define careers on certain players, ‘you did this, and you didn’t do this’. I’m not into that. I just play golf. I love playing golf. I love the competition, and I want to be as good as I can be.

“If that’s 20th in the world with no majors, or first in the world with 10 majors, or never to win a Tour event, I’ll be fine with it.

“You know, coming from where I came from, to be in this position, it’s a dream come true,” he said. “I could never have imagined playing in major championships, playing with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods; that’s a milestone to me itself.

“I’m not going to let this define my career. I have a lot of things ahead of me, I’m young, not as young as Keegan is, but I have a lot of time to play golf and hopefully I’ll have more time to win majors and use what happened today as a positive.”

You might question how Dufner could say he’d be fine with his career if he never wins a tour event, but it’s because he’s confident he’ll be back. We complimented Rory McIlroy when he took a similar approach after blowing the Masters this year. Next thing you know he won the U.S. Open.

I don’t expect Dufner to be in the mix for future majors the way McIlroy will, but you have to praise him for maintaining a positive attitude on such a crappy day.

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