For a sport marred with players devoid of showing emotions during or after their round of golf, Jason Dufner is in a class of his own.
When he holed out for an eagle in the third round, he raised his arm to the sky. That was about it. When he had the PGA Championship title in his hand Sunday, he might have raised a lip. Maybe.
But when he grabbed the Wanamaker Trophy after beating Jim Furyk at the PGA Championship, Duff Daddy cracked a smile reminiscent of his win in Wichita in 2001.
Dufner won the Wichita Open at Crestview Country Club moved him onto the PGA Tour where he has battled ever since. Dufner is now added to a stout list of former Wichita Open champions that have won majors: David Duval, Tom Lehman and David Toms.
More than anything this win for Dufner solidified his standing as one of the best in the game right now. Dufner does not strike fear in anyone's hearts on the first tee. But when he smokes a drive down the fairway, he is a force.
Dufner came on the scene in 2011 when he was in contention for his first major title at, oddly enough, the PGA Championship. He blew a four shot lead in the final pairing to get into a playoff with eventual champion Keegan Bradley. (and then that started the anchored putter hulabaloo - thanks Dufner.)
But he didn't fade away after that loss. He came back to win two times the next year and make the Ryder Cup team. And have you seen his wife? Dude's doing OK for himself.
And now he is a major champion. Dufner is a stud on the course. Someone crack the Copenhagen for him as we celebrate his PGA Championship.
It's both, really. I know it's a copout answer but those two were the headlines coming into Oak Hill Country Club. Could Tiger end his major drought? Will Phil win another major this year? Will they duel down the stretch? Are we asking enough questions?
I was really hoping Tiger could put it together over the weekend and battle, maybe even win and we could FINALLY stop asking, "when will he win?!" Same for Phil. I'm not a huge Phil guy but no denying his prowess on the course and he mastery of a course when he has some momentum and time to tinker his way around it. And neither had the right stuff at the PGA. Phil looked like he didn't care at times. Duffing shots out of the thick rough and sending balls out of bounds. I think Cali was calling Phil as he gets ready for the Playoffs.
Tiger can still win the Fedex Cup and will likely be named Tour Player of the Year. He's had an exceptional year (5 wins!) but he is only judged by majors now. And now we will wait for 2014 at the Masters.
I was more disappointed with Adam Scott at the PGA. I really thought he could get into contention at a course that fits his eye; a straight hitter who hits a lot of fairways and greens. You can't blame a guy for shooting even par on a US Open style track like Oak Hill but it would have been nice to see him get a couple more birdies out there and move up more. He has been the most impressive and disappointing player this year. The Masters was elation for golf fans. And since then, not much. He has been in contention but no other wins. Pity.
Gary Woodland didn't come in dead last at the PGA this week, but came close.
After an 80 on Saturday, Woodland shot even par Sunday to finish second from the bottom at the PGA. That sucks, flat out. But more important to Woodland is his win last week in Reno gives him a guaranteed two years on the PGA Tour to get his game back in order.