Cool, calm Dufner rebounds for big Memorial win

Laura Christensen
June 18, 2017

It paid off when he made a 30-foot par putt on the final hole that wrapped up his rain-soaked victory. Fowler shot 70 and tied for second with Lahiri, who closed with a 65 before both of the two rain delays that lasted a combined 2 1/2 hours.

The 40-year-old Dufner led after 36 holes before collapsing spectacularly with a 77 on day three before bouncing back with a final-round 68 which took the 2013 US PGA Championship victor to 13 under.

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - One of the best perks from winning the Memorial is to walk off the 18th green and into a warm handshake from tournament host Jack Nicklaus.

"That's the goal. I think this is probably a good stepping stone for (another major)", said Dufner, who became the first OH native to win the Memorial since tournament founder and 18-time major victor Nicklaus himself.

European Tour - Renato Paratore won his first European Tour title with a one-stroke victory at the Nordea Masters in Malmo, Sweden. The two were separated by two shots, with Dufner at -13 and Fowler at -11. "They're hungry. They want to win tournaments".

Fowler, who played alongside Dufner in the final round, and Lahiri tied for second. He already was eight shots back when he teed off, and all he managed was a 72. And it was playing and practicing with Fowler and Justin Thomas at The Bear's Club in Jupiter that reignited in Dufner - who earlier this week called golf his job more than his passion - the kind of enjoyment that can escape him.

You wouldn't have been surprised if Dufner simply called his putter "The Enemy".

So it figured that the Memorial would not be decided until the 11th hour, with the victor that last man standing with the lead on the 72nd hole at Nicklaus' Muirfield Village Golf Course. Neither won the tournament. "It sucks to suck, but I've got to be proud with the way I played today". I think the one thing that also helps it gives me something to think about other than my stroke or holing this putt or the situation I'm in. He broke through at the CareerBuilder in January of a year ago for his first post-major win, but he hasn't represented the United States in a team event since the 2013 Presidents Cup played here at Muirfield Village. It's a 72-hole tournament.

To say that Dufner, 40, breathed a sigh of relief is not so much cliché as it was confirmation of the putting technique he disclosed this week that has him concentrating on oxygen intake as he stands over the ball on the green. "Making the turn at even was good, and I felt comfortable to get a little aggressive on the back".

"How could you complain about the weather we had this week, " he said. However, he missed a short birdie putt at 13. Daniel Summerhays, who began the final round with a three-shot lead, began the back nine with two straight bogeys, and he finished with a double bogey for a 78 to tie for 10th. "So I'm really excited for tomorrow and see how I perform".

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