The Dufner domino effect


AUGUSTA, Ga. - Jason Dufner enters the weekend as co-leader at the Masters, with a chance to claim the green jacket - and it's all thanks to one good day at TPC-Boston.

Call it the domino theory or the butterfly effect or six degrees of separation. Whatever the case, we can track Dufner's success back to the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship three years ago.

On Sept. 7, 2009, Dufner entered the final round of the second event of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs in a share of ninth place at 10 under. That day, he posted a 7-under 65 to vault into a share of second when play was completed, one shot behind winner Steve Stricker.

The result netted enough points for Dufner to get into the Tour Championship that year, which in turn got him into each of the four major championships in 2010.

He made the most of it in the fourth and final major that season, earning a T-5 finish at the PGA Championship.

In turn, that result guaranteed a place in the field for the next year’s PGA Championship, as well. And once again, Dufner contended for the title, losing in a playoff to Keegan Bradley at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Though it was a disappointing defeat, the runner-up finish did come with plenty of perks, notably a place in the field for this year’s Masters, which wasn’t a given previously, considering Dufner has never won a PGA Tour event.

Dufner’s journey to greater heights isn’t an uncommon one, but it is easily traceable, the roots of which stem from one good round three years ago – all of which may culminate in a Masters victory on Sunday.

Domino theory. Butterfly effect. Six degrees of separation.  Call it whatever you’d like, but it’s certainly worked for Dufner.