Jason Dufner Wins The Memorial By 3 Strokes

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Jason Dufner

2017 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

(The 29th of 43 events in the PGA TOUR Season)                                

 

Dublin, Ohio                             June 1-4, 2017                                                             FedExCup Points: 500

Muirfield Village Golf Club        Par/Yardage: 36-36—72/7,392                       Purse: $8,700,000 ($1,566,000)

 

Final-Round Notes – Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weather: Partly cloudy with a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. Wind SW at 10-20 mph, with a high temperature of 85 degrees. Play was suspended at 4:18 p.m., due to inclement weather and resumed at 5:35 p.m., after a delay of 1 hour, 17 minutes. Play was suspended again at 6:48 p.m., due to inclement weather and resumed at 8:06 p.m., after a delay of 1 hour, 18 minutes.

 

Final-Round Leaderboard

Jason Dufner                            65-65-77-68—275 (-13)

Anirban Lahiri                           74-70-69-65—278 (-10)

Rickie Fowler                            70-66-72-70—278 (-10)

 

Jason Dufner

Jason Dufner overcame a four-shot deficit on the final day to win the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide by three shots over Rickie Fowler and Anirban Lahiri. Locked in a battle that saw five players within two shots of the lead with three holes to play and two weather delays, Dufner made a clutch par at the 72nd hole with a putt of 32 feet 7 inches for his fifth career win and first since the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge.

 

The win earns Dufner 500 FedExCup points and moves him from 56th to 13th in the standings

 

Dufner’s four-shot comeback on the final day is the second-largest comeback after 54 holes at the Memorial Tournament, tied with five others, and accomplished most recently by Tiger Woods in 2012.

 

The three-shot margin of victory is the largest in the tournament since Justin Rose defeated Rickie Fowler by three in 2010. The previous three tournaments prior to Dufner’s win were settled in playoffs.

 

Born in Cleveland, Dufner becomes just the second Ohio-native to win the Memorial Tournament, joining tournament-host Jack Nicklaus, who won in 1977 and 1984.

 

This was Dufner’s sixth start in the Memorial Tournament, his previous-best finish a T19 in 2014. This was Dufner’s 15th start of the season, with his only top 10 coming at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (team event with Patton Kizzire).

 

Only 10 of 29 players have converted a lead/co-lead through 54 holes into victory this season, most recently Kevin Chappell at the Valero Texas Open.

 

Dufner set the 36-hole scoring record at 14-under 130, before firing a third-round 77 to drop into a tie for third heading into the final round. With his win, Dufner has the second-highest score in the third round by an eventual winner (in a nonmajor, since 1983) in PGA TOUR history; Kenny Knox shot a third-round 80 at The Honda Classic in 1986 before claiming victory. Including majors, Nick Faldo shot 77 in the third round of the 1989 Masters before eventually winning.

 

Highest 3rd Round by Eventual Winner (nonmajors)

PGA TOUR Since 1983

Year Event Player

Rd 3

1986

The Honda Classic Knox, Kenny

80

1983

Lajet Coors Classic Caldwell, Rex

76

2015

Puerto Rico Open Cejka, Alex

75

2010

Barracuda Championship Bettencourt, Matt

75

2000

THE NORTHERN TRUST Paulson, Dennis

75

1997

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Glasson, Bill

75

2014

SBS Tournament of Champions Johnson, Zach

74

 

Highest 3rd Round by Winners

PGA TOUR This Season

Year Event Player

Rd 3

2017

CIMB Classic Thomas, Justin

71

2017

Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Pampling, Rod

71

2017

CareerBuilder Challenge Swafford, Hudson

71

2017

Arnold Palmer Invitational Leishman, Marc

71

2017

Valero Texas Open Chappell, Kevin

71

 

 

Dufner’s career starts-made cuts-top 10s-wins: 278-198-43-5

 

Dufner’s 2016-17 Season starts-made cuts-top 10s-wins: 15-13-2-1

 

Dufner wins his fifth PGA TOUR event in his 278th start at the age of 40 years, 2 months, 11 days.

 

Dufner’s Statistics By Round

R1: 11/14 fairways, 17/18 greens, 29 putts

R2: 10/14 fairways, 14/18 greens, 27 putts

R3: 10/14 fairways, 11/18 greens, 33 putts

R4: 10/14 fairways, 12/18 greens, 27 putts

 

Dufner’s Strokes Gained Summary for the week (rank):

Off-the-Tee +2.890 (10)

Approach-the-Green +10.669 (1)

Around-the-Green +2.952 (14)

Putting -0.373 (47)

Total +16.151 (1)

 

About Jason Dufner

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 180

BIRTHDATE: March 24, 1977

BIRTHPLACE: Cleveland, Ohio

RESIDENCE: Auburn, Alabama

FAMILY: Single

EDUCATION: Auburn University (2000, Economics)

SPECIAL INTERESTS: Football, baseball

TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2000

Web.com Tour Graduate (2003, 2006)

JOINED TOUR: 2004

 

Anirban Lahiri

The round of the day belonged to Anirban Lahiri, who shot a 7-under 65 to finish T2, his best finish on the PGA TOUR. The Sunday 65 ties his best final round in his PGA TOUR career, first set at this season’s RSM Classic, where he finished T13. His best round on TOUR is 64, which he has shot twice, both at the CareerBuilder Challenge the last two seasons.

 

In 51 career starts on the PGA TOUR, Lahiri now owns four top-10 finishes, his previous best a T3 at this season’s CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. He improves his FedExCup standing from 92nd to 42nd.

 

Lahiri will improve on his current standing of 22nd in his bid to qualify for his second Presidents Cup International Team. The International Team will consist of 10 qualifiers as of September 4, and two Captain’s picks that will be named on September 6. Lahiri made his Presidents Cup debut in 2015 in Korea, where he compiled a 0-3-0 record. The Presidents Cup will be played at Liberty National Golf Club October 25November 1.

 

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler erased a five-stroke deficit in the final round and briefly held the lead before eventually shooting a final-round 70 to finish runner-up in the Memorial Tournament, three shots behind Dufner.

 

Fowler hit a 350-yard drive on the 72nd hole and had just 136 yards to the pin when play was called for inclement weather for the second time during the final round. When play restarted, he made a costly bogey at the last to fall into a tie for second.

 

Fowler recorded his fifth top-10 of the season in 11 starts, including his win at The Honda Classic.

 

For the week, Fowler led the field in driving accuracy, hitting 45 of 56 fairways. He also led the field in sand saves, converting 8 of 11 attempts.

 

Going into the week, Fowler was fifth in the Presidents Cup US Team points standings and is on track to qualify for his second Presidents Cup. He went 1-3-1 for the US Team in 2015 in Korea.

 

Additional Player Notes

Justin Thomas shot an even-par 72 on the final day to finish T4, four shots behind winner Jason Dufner. Thomas, a three-time winner this season, recorded his seventh top-10 in 15 starts. He also earned enough FedExCup points to move into second in the standings, 293 points back of Dustin Johnson’s lead.

 

Matt Kuchar shot a final-round 73 and finished T4, four shots back of Dufner’s winning score. The 2014 Memorial Tournament winner now has seven top 10s in 12 appearances at the event.

 

Third-round leader Daniel Summerhays struggled to a 78 on the final day in his bid to turn his three-shot lead into his first PGA TOUR victory.

 

Harold Varner III made an ace at the par-3 8th hole during the final round of the Memorial Tournament from 164 yards with an 8-iron. It was Varner’s first ace of his PGA TOUR career.

 

Stewart Cink’s 1-over 73 in round three leaves him at 54 rounds of par-or-better in this event. He is one round of par-or-better from three-time Memorial Tournament winner Kenny Perry, who has 55. The record belongs to Jay Haas, who has 68 rounds of par or better at this event.

 

Defending champion William McGirt posted an 11 over 83 and finished the week T67. The only Memorial Tournament champion to successfully defende at Muirfield Village was Tiger Woods, who won the event five times, including three straight years, from 1999-2001.

 

Columbus resident Jason Day rebounded from opening rounds of 75-71 with a 5-under 67 in round three and a final-round 70. His 15th-place finish is the best in his career at the Memorial Tournament.

 

Miscellaneous Notes

Lahiri (T2), was the only international player to finish in the top 10 this week, the other nine were American-born.

 

This is the 25th Memorial Tournament that has seen at least one delay in play out of 42 playings.

 

Bubba Watson was in contention for much of the final-round, but ended up finishing T6. A left-handed player has never won the Memorial Tournament.

 

The 17-stroke difference between Jason Dufner’s 14-under lead after 36-holes at the Memorial Tournament and the 36-hole cutline at 3-over is a tournament record. There was a 16-stroke difference in the inaugural event in 1976.

 

The last time there was a 17-stroke differential in a 36-hole cut on the PGA TOUR was at the 2005 RBC Heritage. This is only events with a 36-hole cut (official stroke play events).

 

Largest Stroke Differential Between First & Last After 36-Hole Cut

PGA TOUR (Since 1980)

Year-Event

Stroke Differential

 
2017 the Memorial Tournament

17

 
2005 RBC Heritage

17

 
2006 BellSouth Classic

16

 
2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational

16

 
2015 Masters Tournament

16

 
2017 Shell Houston Open

16

 

 

Nine past champions of the Memorial Tournament began this week. Here’s a look at how they stand after 54 holes: William McGirt (T67/2016), David Lingmerth (T15/2015), Hideki Matsuyama (T45/2014), Matt Kuchar (T4 /2013), Steve Stricker (T40/2011), K.J. Choi (T67/2007), Carl Pettersson (MC/2006), Jim Furyk (MC/2002) and Vijay Singh (MC/1997).

 

Bogey-Free rounds:

R1: Lucas Glover (67), Matt Kuchar (69).

R2: Jason Dufner (65), Rickie Fowler (66).

R3: Jim Herman (67)

R4: Anirban Lahiri (65)

 

Scoring averages at the par-72 Muirfield Village Golf Club

Front 9              Back 9              Total                 Cumulative

R1:       36.395              36.924              73.319              —

R2:       36.084              36.235              72.319              72.819

R3:       35.447              36.105              71.553              72.397

R4:       35.974              38.000              73.974              72.791

 

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