The PGA Championship: Day 3
August 13 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — On the golf course, Jason Dufner usually doesn’t show much emotion.
“I had a couple temper tantrums but usually I’m pretty good about it, especially if I’m playing well because I know I’m playing well,” Dufner said.
That’s exactly what he did Saturday, shooting a 2-under 68 to own a share of the lead at 7 under heading into the final round of the PGA Championship. It’s a position Dufner has never been in before and one he wasn’t exactly destined for during his days at Auburn.
While Dufner was in college, for example, he would have a few beers and goof off with his friends trying to hit things — a lamp post, the engineering building on campus. One particular night, Dufner took aim at the light atop one of those lamp posts and smashed it from 150 yards away.
“Yeah, I hit it pretty good,” Dufner recalled. “We’d have a couple beers and everybody would try to show off for each other or maybe some of the girls who were there. Those were probably my most delinquent years in college.
“After that I figured I needed to do something better with my life than drinking beers and hitting golf balls at lamp posts at two in the morning.”
Like try to play well enough to take the rest of this season off so he could watch college football. When Dufner was discussing his goals with his coach Chuck Cook a couple of years ago, that’s what he told him his goal was.
“Most people say win tournaments, win majors,” Dufner said. “He said ‘You’re easy, all you want to do is finish before football season.’
“I feel like nine months is a pretty good stretch of golf and I’d just take it easy after that.”
A pretty good stretch of golf is what Dufner has had this week at Atlanta Athletic Club, despite having missed his last four cuts coming into this event.
But Dufner got here just over a week ago and put in a lot of practice time with Cook, working on everything from his tee balls to his short game. Being from Alabama, he’s also not bothered by the heat, which others have wilted in.
Dufner also likes the golf course, which he said fits his eye and reminds him of TPC Sawgrass, where he tied for sixth earlier this year.
“I’m really comfortable, and we got to the golf course and I felt like I liked it,” Dufner said. “I felt like you had to hit fairways, which is one of my stronger suits.”
And certainly better than hitting lamp posts. One more stretch of good golf and he could aim at something else, like the Wanamaker Trophy.
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