KAPALUA, Hawaii – Jason Dufner walked off the final green of the Plantation Course after a final-round 69 that left him with a fifth-place finish and immediately ran into a familiar face.
Standing not far off the green was course co-designer Ben Crenshaw, whom Dufner saw and went out of his way to shake hands with.
Minutes later, when Dufner was asked for a prediction in the BCS Championship game between his beloved Auburn and Florida State, he stole an old line from Crenshaw’s time as a Ryder Cup captain.
“I have a good feeling about it,” he said, nearly emulating word-for-word Crenshaw’s prediction prior to the final day of the 1999 Ryder Cup.
Dufner has spoken with his alma mater’s players this year, and many have drawn inspiration from the PGA champion. But he maintained that’s a two-way street.
“Being around them and the coaches, I try to learn as much as I can. The mindset they have this year changed things around and really gives you a lot of determination when you're out here making double bogeys on the 71st hole, not to get too much down and try to fight through it, because I think they've done that most of the year.”