Cleveland doesn’t win titles, eh?
North Olmsted-born Jason Dufner, 36, won the 95th PGA Championship on Sunday with a four-round total of 10-under-par 270, to finish two strokes ahead of Jim Furyk, who is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Take that, Yinzers!
Dufner looks like someone you’d be paired with on the first tee at Big Met. The only difference, he hits the ball 300 yards, he can consistently place approach shots within 10 feet of the hole, he is a multi-millionaire and he has an extremely hot wife.
But other than that, he’s just like you and me.
Dufner moved away from Cleveland when he was 11 and three years later down to Florida. That’s when he started playing golf. In college, he was a walk-on at Auburn and after graduation, he toiled on the PGA Tour and its minor league tours throughout the 2000s. It has only been recently that Dufner began regularly appearing on leaderboards on the PGA Tour.
Two weeks ago, Dufner was in northeast Ohio to compete at the World Golf Classic’s Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron. There, FoxSportsOhio.com’s Zac Jackson caught up with Dufner.
The Monday before the start of the Bridgestone, Dufner was in Berea watching the Browns practice.
"That was a pretty cool deal for me," Dufner told Jackson. "Football is probably my favorite sport. I've gotten to know (Browns quarterback) Brandon Weeden a little bit, played golf with him a little bit and kept in touch.”
Dufner, who lives in Auburn, Ala., is also an Indians and Cavs fan.
"It's tough being a Cleveland fan," Dufner told Jackson. "I hear it from the guys in the locker room. We've had great history with our teams. It's been a while on a championship, that's all. Keep the faith."
At the 2011 PGA Championship, Dufner held a five-stroke lead with four holes to play before faltering down the stretch and eventually losing the title to Keegan Bradley. It was a very Cleveland sports-esque way to lose.
Dufner’s redemption win on Sunday proved not only do good guys finish first, but also just because you’re from Cleveland, doesn’t mean you can’t win big.