Until he won the P.G.A. Championship Sunday, Jason Dufner had succeeded on a large scale in only one thing: being so thoroughly Jason Dufner that the Internet turned him into a meme. Yes, thanks to one timely photograph of Dufner slumped against a wall while visiting a children’s classroom, you needed to know nothing else about him to laugh at what had become known as Dufnering.
And until Sunday, Dufner was O.K. with that. So much so, it was reasonable to hope he would pose that way with the Wanamaker Trophy. He probably preferred this image to people remembering him as the guy who could not claim that trophy two years ago after he choked up a five-shot lead in the P.G.A. Championship, dunking a tee shot and reeling off three straight bogeys to help crown Keegan Bradley.
But now Dufner has rewritten his image entirely, Sunday’s final round at Oak Hill serving as one big eraser. In one day, his laconic nature went from borderline hilarious to brilliant, his signature stoicism worth its weight in trophies. He built a two-shot lead and nursed it through an entire round, his nearest competitors fading whenever they neared a chance to put pressure on him.
Now, maybe Dufnering means something else altogether, writes Robert Lusetich on Foxsports.com. Maybe, it means somnambulance is underrated. Maybe we should all try looking like the world has bored us to tears. It certainly worked Sunday, as Dufner erased the last of the scars from two years ago, as Gene Wojciechowski writes on ESPN.com. As it turned out, that day only planted the seeds of this one, Eric Adelson writes on Yahoo.com, to Dufner’s great, if unidentifiable, joy.
There were other happenings at Oak Hill over the weekend. Jim Furyk got his heart broken again in a major, Ian O’Connor writes on ESPN.com; Tiger Woods turned up ordinary in another major, Cameron Morfit chronicles on Golf.com; and Phil Mickelson’s dreadful tournament could be summed up in a single shot:
And there was a hole-in-one Sunday, courtesy of Tim Clark at No. 11.
And if you were listening carefully to the broadcast — not something we suggest for the maximum enjoyment of these things, because Jim Nantz’s reverent tones might actually be stuck in your head forever — you discovered suburban Rochester features a collection of the world’s most annoying golf fans.
Of course, if golf and its absurd fans aren’t your thing, your alternative over the weekend was the 100-meter final at the track and field world championships, which is delightfully over in less than 10 seconds and rechristened the sport’s over-the-top personality, Usain Bolt.
But you could be forgiven for finding that unsatisfying. There was, oddly, something soothing about watching Dufner amble around Oak Hill Sunday, whatever he was feeling locked tightly behind a sleepy face. Hey, not just anybody can start his own Internet craze, by being as far from crazed as humanly possible. Long live Dufnering.
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