Tue, May 22, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Newlywed Dufner sinks 25-footer to win Byron Nelson

AFP, IRVING, TEXAS

Jason Dufner sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole to win the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, taking his second title of the year only three weeks after ending a 163-event win drought.

Dufner fired a final-round three-under 67 to finish on 11-under 269 and edge fellow American Dicky Pride by one stroke after Pride had made a similar 22-foot putt from nearly the same spot to stay even with Dufner.

“There were a lot of people making a lot of shots down the stretch,” Dufner said. “Luckily, I had a nice chance at 18 to close it out.”

On April 29, Dufner won in New Orleans to end a long win drought that included squandering a late lead at last year’s PGA Championship. On May 5, Dufner married his girlfriend, Amanda Boyd.

On Sunday, he won the US$1.17 million top prize at the US$6.5 million event at TPC Four Seasons to join compatriot Hunter Mahan as the only multiple winner on the USPGA Tour this season.

“Two wins and to get married in the same month, it doesn’t get much better professionally or personally,” Dufner said.

Dufner had back-to-back bogeys at the second and third holes, but then birdied the fourth and fifth, as well as the par-five seventh. He went birdie-bogey to open the back nine and birdied the par-five 16th, before his winning birdie at 18.

Pride settled for second after a final-round 68. After three birdies in a row, he found water off the tee at 18, then sank a tense par putt. Pride has not won since his taking his lone USPGA title in 1994 in Memphis, Tennessee, as a rookie.

Australian Marc Leishman, Sweden’s Jonas Blixt and Americans Joe Durant and J.J. Henry shared third on 271, with Americans Phil Mickelson and Ken Duke next on 274.

Henry appeared to have the title in his hand with birdies at 15 and 16 for a one-stroke lead, but he then went left off the tee at the par-three 17th, missed a 27-footer for par, and then missed a two-and-a-half-footer and took a double-bogey. Henry had aced the par-three fifth hole.

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