PGA champ Jason Dufner back on Manhattan rooftops
NEW YORK (AP) — The last time Jason Dufner was on a Manhattan rooftop, he was down on one knee proposing to his future wife.
On Tuesday, Dufner was hoisting the PGA Championship trophy on top of the Empire State Building, two days after winning his first major.
The Alabama golfer proposed at a restaurant overlooking the Hudson River amid fireworks on the Fourth of July in 2011.
“It was very romantic,” Amanda Dufner said. “He is not a romantic person at all, so I was very shocked.”
She was on the green to embrace him Sunday after the final round at Oak Hill in Pittsford, New York. Amanda said her stoic husband, who managed to crack a smile and pump his fist after the victory, didn’t say much.
“It was so crazy, it all just kind of flew by,” she said. “We were both kind of in shock. I told him he deserved it, it was his time.”
Dufner beat Jim Furyk by two strokes, capping a week in which he shot a 63 in the second round to tie a major championship record.
“I was just excited that the round was over and that I was going to be able to lift the trophy,” said Dufner, with a laugh. “It was a long week, you’ve really got to grind. You’re really exhausted by the end of it.”
The 36-year-old Dufner earned a measure of redemption after blowing a four-shot lead at the 2011 PGA Championship in Atlanta and losing in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.
“I had a chance to win the thing,” he said. “I was just hoping I’d have another chance to win one.”
In the final round, he drew on the lessons from his other majors.
“The experience of being in that situation, knowing how you’re going to feel, how the field is going to respond, how the golf course is going to play, what shots you’re going to need,” Dufner said. “All that stuff adds up.”
Coming up for Dufner are the FedEx Cup playoffs and the President’s Cup in October. But before then, he and his wife will take a vacation and hit the beach.