Mo Yoshimoto

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Dufner wins the Memorial by 3

Monday, June 5, 2017

the Memorial Tournament

Dublin, OH



First-round co-leader and second-round leader Jason Dufner erased a 4-shot deficit with 4-under-par 36-32=68 in the weather delayed final round of the Memorial Tournament to post 13-under 275, good for a 3-shot win over Anirban Lahiri and Rickie Fowler.


The Auburn alum, a pre-tourney 45/1 outright, claims a fifth PGA TOUR title in 278 career events, first since the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge (37 starts ago) where he was the 54-hole leader by two, shot 2-under 70, and won in a 2-man playoff over David Lingmerth.


This is his second come-from-behind victory, joining the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill CC in Rochester, NY, where he came from one back with 2-under 68 to win by two.


The Cleveland, Ohio, native wins in his sixth appearance; is a second top 25 (T19/2013) and first top 10. He is only the second Ohio native to win the event, joining tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus.


It’s the 40-year-old’s 10th top 25 of the season in 15 starts and second top 10, joining a T5 at the Zurich Classic teamed with fellow Auburn alum Patton Kizzire.


His previous best individual results were T11 at the Valspar, and T11 and the RBC Heritage where he was the 54-hole leader by one and back-pedaled with 5-over 76.


Dufner checked in off a missed cut (by one) at the DEAN & DELUCA (74-71) and T13 at the Byron Nelson (69-68-65-72). He is the fourth player this season to win after missing the cut in his previous start, third in the last four events.




After opening in 65-65, Dufner set a new 36-hole tournament scoring record and led by five at the midpoint. A third-round 77 dropped him into a two-way T3, beginning the final frame four adrift of 54-hole leader Daniel Summerhays.


Playing out of the third-to-last twosome, the World No. 65 went out in even-par, trading three birdies at Nos. 2, 5 and 7 with three bogeys at 4 (3-putt from 33’5”), 6 and 8. He circled the par-4 10th (from 35 inches) and at that point, was T4.




1st- Summerhays -12 (thru nine holes)

T2- Fowler -11 (thru 10)

T2- Matt Kuchar -11 (thru 9)

T4- Lahiri -10 (in with 65)

T4- Dufner -10 (10)

T4- Bubba Watson -10 (9)

T4- Justin Thomas -10 (9)



Dufner birdied the par-3 12th (from 10’8”) and was in the fairway at the par-4 13th when play was suspended the first time, now T2 and trailing playing competitor Fowler by one.




1st- Fowler -12 (thru 12)

T2- Dufner -11 (thru 12)

T2- Summerhays -11 (thru 10)



When play resumed, Dufner 2-putted the par-5 15th for birdie and circled birdie-3 at 17 (from 33 inches) after stiffing his approach from 119 yards away.


At the par-4 18th, he drove in the right rough off the tee, leaving 195 yards to the target when play was suspended again, though this time he was leading Fowler by two, three clear of Lahiri and Summerhays.


When play resumed, Dufner took two swings to get on the surface and then canned a 32’7” par-saver to claim the trophy.


Fowler, in the fairway off the 18th tee and just 136 yards away, ended up taking bogey on a failed scramble to dip back into joint second, signing for a 2-under-par 33-37=70. He played his final seven holes in birdie-less 2-over.



Final Leaderboard:


Jason Dufner: 65-65-77-68 (-13)

Anirban Lahiri: 74-70-69-65 (-10)

Rickie Fowler: 70-66-72-70 (-10)

Justin Thomas: 67-71-69-72 (-9)

Matt Kuchar: 69-70-67-73 (-9)



Dufner's Position by Round:


R1: T1

R2: 1st

R3: T3



Dufner earns a 3-year TOUR exemption thru the 2019-20 season. He had previously qualified for this year’s U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship as well as the 2018 Masters, but does add invites to the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions.


With a Strength of Field rating of 582, Dufner banks 66.00 world-ranking points and jumps 38 places to 27th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). His career high is 6th, which was realized during the 2-week break between the 2012 BMW Championship and 2012 TOUR Championship.


He earns 500 FedExCup (FEC) points for the victory and vaults 43 spots to 13th in the FEC standings. His career high is 1st after the 2012 Travelers.


Dufner is not in the published field at this coming week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.



Field Scoring Average:


This was the 42nd playing of the Memorial with all 42 contested at Muirfield Village Golf Club.   


7,392 yards; par 72 (36-36)


R1: 73.319

R2: 72.319

R3: 71.553

R4: 73.974*


Total: 72.797


Dufner posted 16.165 SG: Total


Note: R4 was the highest scoring average for R4’s this season



Dufner’s Key Stats:


1st in Greens in Regulation (GIR)

1st in SG: Approach-the-Green

1st in SG: Tee-to-Green



Dufner’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 76 players):


Eagles: 2 (T2)

Birdies: 21 (T2)

Bogeys: 10 (T15)

Double Bogeys: 1 (T14)


Par-3 Scoring: 3.13 (T28)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.88 (3rd)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.38 (T3)


Driving Distance (all drives): 291.0 yards (35th)

Driving Accuracy: 41/56 (T7) at 73.21 percent

GIR: 54/72 (1st) at 75.00 percent

Proximity to hole: 30’0” (6th)

Putts per GIR: 1.667 (T7)

Total Putts: 116 (T51)

Putts by Round: 29-27-33-27

Scrambling: 10/18 (30th) at 55.56 percent


SG: Off-the-Tee: 2.884 (10th)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 10.682 (1st)

SG: Around-the-Green: 2.967 (13th)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 16.532 (1st); highest SGTTG of season (by a winner)

SG: Putting: -0.368 (47th); first winner this season with a NEGATIVE in SG: Putting





A total of 77 pros from a field of 119 pros and one amateur made the 36-hole cut of 3-over 147:


39 (of 59) EARLY/late; 1 WD


38 (of 60) LATE/early


Note: Si Woo Kim (LATE/early) made the cut but WD during R3.



12 players finished in the top 10 with seven of those EARLY/late, but the champion was LATE/early.


EARLY/late: Anirban Lahiri (T2), Justin Thomas (T4), James Hahn (T6), Kevin Kisner (T6), Bubba Watson (T6), Jamie Lovemark (T10), Daniel Summerhays (T10)


LATE/early: Jason Dufner (1st), Rickie Fowler (T2), Matt Kuchar (T4), Kyle Stanley (T6), Graham DeLaet (T10)



19 tourneys this season with a traditional draw.




EARLY/late: 14 (73.6%)


LATE/early: 5



Yahoo! Low Rounds:


R1: Jason Dufner, David Lingmerth (65)

R2: Jason Dufner (65)

R3: James Hahn (65)

R4: Anirban Lahiri (65)



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)



Leader/co-leaders by Round:


R1: David Lingmerth finished T15 (65-74-71-73). Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.

R1: Jason Dufner finished 1st (65-65-77-68). Improves to 2-for-6 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.


R2: Jason Dufner finished 1st. Improves to 5-for-11 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.


R3: Daniel Summerhays finished T10 (66-69-68-78). Drops to 0-for-4 as 54-hole leader/co-leader.



Updated Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finish):


1. Dustin Johnson (CUT)

2. Rory McIlroy (idle)

3. Jason Day (T15)

4. Hideki Matsuyama (T45)

5. Sergio Garcia (idle); UP two

6. Jordan Spieth (T13)

7. Henrik Stenson (T26 on Euro Tour); DOWN two

8. Alex Noren (T15 on Euro Tour)

9. Rickie Fowler (T2); UP three

10. Jon Rahm (CUT); down one


Note: Adam Scott (T31) dropped from No. 10 to No. 12



31 of the Top 50 in OWGR were in the field


5 finished in the top 10:


No. 12 Rickie Fowler (T2)

No. 13 Justin Thomas (T4)

No. 18 Matt Kuchar (T4)

No. 22 Kevin Kisner (T6)

No. 34 Bubba Watson (T6)


In total, 12 players finished in the top 10. Average world ranking: 65th              



Consecutive top 10s on TOUR:


Kevin Kisner (T6-1st)



Consecutive top-10 streaks ended:


Sean O’Hair (T52-T2-T5)

Danny Lee (T49-6th-T5)

Byeong Hun An (T25-T5-T8)



First-timers and/or Rookies:


First-timers: 18

Top-10 finishes: 0


Ross Fisher: The World No. 43 was top debutant with T22 on 3-under 285 (73-69-70-73).


The Englishman records his fourth top 25 of the season in six starts. His season (and tied career best) is T3 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.


Honorable mentions go to World No. 413 Brett Coletta, who cashed his first TOUR paycheck in his second career start with T25 on 2-under 286 (72-69-72-73), and World No. 159 Peter Uihlein, who also posted T25 (76-69-68-73), his third top 25 this season in as many starts.  



TOUR Rookies: 6

Top-10 finishes: 0


Patrick Cantlay: Making his tourney debut, the World No. 126 shared top rookie honors with T35 on even-par 288 (71-72-74-71). It’s the second time this season in seven starts that he was low rookie (2nd, Valspar).


Grayson Murray: Making his tourney debut, the World No. 163 and sponsor invite shared top rookie honors with T35 on even-par 288 (72-71-71-74). It’s the first time this season in 18 starts that he was low rookie.



Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):


1. Dustin Johnson (2,270)

2. Justin Thomas (1,977); UP one

3. Hideki Matsuyama (1,875); DOWN one

4. Jon Rahm (1,708)

5. Jordan Spieth (1,459)

6. Kevin Kisner (1,452); UP one

7. Pat Perez (1,426); DOWN one

8. Rickie Fowler (1,319); UP two

9. Adam Hadwin (1,236); DOWN one

10. Brian Harman (1,132); DOWN one



Season Trends:



16 winners were in their 20s

11 were in their 30s

4 were in their 40s (Dufner’s age: 40)



16 winners had at least one week off prior to their respective wins

13 winners had a top-10 finish the start prior

4 had a missed cut (Mackenzie Hughes, Si Woo Kim, Billy Horschel (x4), and Jason Dufner.



19 of the 28 winners (minus Match Play and team-Zurich) have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday.


The nine outliers:


Jason Dufner (Memorial): Third-to-last twosome; erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 3


Kevin Kisner (DDI): Penultimate threesome; erased 3-shot deficit w/ 4-under 66; won by 1


Si Woo Kim (PLAYERS): Penultimate twosome; erased 2-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 3


Brian Harman (Wells Fargo): Third-to-last twosome: erased 2-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 1


Wesley Bryan (Heritage): Third-to-last twosome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 67; won by 1.


Marc Leishman (API): Penultimate twosome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 1.


Hideki Matsuyama (WMPO): Penultimate threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 5-under 66; won in playoff.


Jon Rahm (Farmers): Fifth-to-last threesome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 3.


Brendan Steele (Safeway): Third-to-last threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 1.



54-hole leaders/co-leaders performance (minus team-Zurich):


Converted: Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic), Justin Thomas (SBS TOC), Justin Thomas (Sony), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pro-Am), Dustin Johnson (Genesis), Rickie Fowler (Honda), Adam Hadwin (Valspar), Sergio Garcia (Masters), Kevin Chappell (VTO)


FailedPatton Kizzire (Safeway), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Luke ListChris Kirk (Sanderson Farms), Lucas Glover (Shriners), Gary Woodland (OHL), Adam Hadwin (CareerBuilder), Patrick RodgersBrandt Snedeker (FIO), Byeong Hun An (WMPO), Justin Thomas (WGC-Mexico), Kevin KisnerCharley Hoffman (API), Chris Stroud (PRO), Sung Kang (SHO), Justin Rose (co-Masters), Jason Dufner (Heritage), Patrick Reed (Wells Fargo), J.B. Holmes, Kyle Stanley (PLAYERS), James Hahn (Byron Nelson), Webb Simpson (DDI), Daniel Summerhays (Memorial)



Not counting the Zurich (team), 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have failed to convert the last five. Most recent to get across the finish line: Kevin Chappell (VTO).



Up Next:


The TOUR heads to Memphis, Tennessee, for this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic at the par-70 TPC Southwind.


Daniel Berger is the defending champion, claiming his maiden title in his 50th career start (as 36- and 54-hole leader) by three over Brooks Koepka, Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson.


Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR readies for its 31st tournament of the season (of 47).








You can find Mo on Twitter @Bears3423.
Email :Mo Yoshimoto

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