The fall schedule in golf is largely comprised of what's known as the "silly season" -- a series of unorthodox and unofficial events that provide a respite before the full time schedule reignites at the start of the new year. It also provides a break for many of the pros to take in their favorite college football teams, with many of today's top players coming from SEC powerhouse (golf) programs.
There's a strong contingent of players from the SEC, but Jason Dufner is probably the most recognizable and most identifiable with the current SEC zeitgeist. Dufner's profile rocketed this summer when 'Dufnering' became a thing, and then his first career major win with a big wad of chew in his lower lip and his Crimson Tide alum wife at his side. When he won at Oak Hill in August, they rolled Toomer's Corner, and galleries scream "War Eagle!" after almost every tee shot. He had become that much a part of the Auburn community and their tradition. Dufner still resides in the area and during his off weekends in the fall, he goes to every home game.
So on Saturday when the Tigers hosted rival Georgia, Auburn arranged for a special presentation during a break in the action. Dufner was recognized for his achievements and the glory he has brought Auburn, and now has a street named after him:
The Tigers, of course, are having a miracle turnaround season under Gus Malzahn and are in line for BCS bid heading into the Iron Bowl. It looked like that might all come unraveled until the most ridiculous play of the 2013 season happened:
The reactions from both sides -- coaches, announcers, players -- were just as entertaining as the play itself.
What!!!!!l— Jason Dufner (@JasonDufner) November 17, 2013
While all the madness was going in in Alabama, UGA's Harris English was plugging away in Cancun and going for the second win in his young PGA Tour career.
Alabama has the best SEC golf program over the past couple years, but it's Georgia who arguably has the best crop of current alums lighting up leaderboards on Tour, most notably Bubba Watson, Erik Compton, Russell Henley, and English. It's English who has played the best golf over the last 12 months, and is touted as one of American golf's next superstars.
English sent out a "Beat Auburn" tweet before the game, but it was unclear whether he witnessed the devastating ending unfold in real time down in Mexico. After the game, he retweeted fellow Dawg alum Kevin Kisner
Glad I could not watch that— Kevin Kisner (@K_Kisner) November 17, 2013
It wasn't the most settling way for English to go to sleep in the hunt with 18 holes to go at a PGA Tour tournament that was now officially a FedExCup event with a full allotment of points and all the perks and invites to other major tourneys that come along with that.
English is a stud, but he's still early enough in his career that he's going to play pretty much whenever he can, including this new fall wraparound schedule. Dufner, who's much more established, can pick and choose this time of year and rake in promo cash while enjoying some college football. But while Dufner had a much more enjoyable Saturday night, English came back the next day and ran away with the OHL Classic in Cancun, rolling to a four-shot win:
It's the second win in six months for English, who will surely make some noise at the 2014 majors and potentially join Dufner as the next SEC alum to win one. It might just take some time before he'll probably want to talk with Duf about that 2013 game at Jordan-Hare.