Jason Dufner, Auburn University’s biggest booster on the PGA Tour, would rather throw away his chance to win a playoff in Monday’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions finale than miss watching his alma mater’s footballers take on Florida State in the BCS National Championship game.
"Yeah, that's going to be rough," Dufner, who began the day three shots back of 54-hole co-leaders Jordan Spieth, defending champ Dustin Johnson, and Webb Simpson, said Sunday about his strategy should the contest require extra frames. "I'm going to maybe either go real aggressive on the last hole and try to get a three or a six and get out of there.
The 18th hole on the Plantation Course is a par-5.
With Dufner drilling an eagle from downtown on the par-5 fifth to get to 1-under for the day and two off the pace, he may be due for an attitude adjustment about extra innings. But with just about every expert -- including the 2000 grad -- picking FSU to romp to the title, we’re sure Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn would forgive the Tigers rooter for (ahem) rolling with the tide.
"That's a tough one," he said about whether he would pick his team or himself to come up big on Monday. "I'd probably have to be a little selfish and go with myself, unfortunately, but those guys have worked really hard. Maybe I'd go with them because I've got at least another 25 or so events that I can pick out here to win. It's a toss‑up really."
But for his putting (he ranked 27th of the 30 players in the winners-only field, according to Golf Channel/NBC’s Johnny Miller), Duf could be atop the leaderboard. In any case, he should have plenty of time to glue himself to a TV screen, since the game airs from Pasadena at 3:30 p.m. Hawaii time (8:30 p.m Eastern). The season opener on Maui is scheduled to end 30 minutes prior.