Dufner Wins Big Payday at LaSalle Bank


GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Jason Dufner closed with a 1-under 70 on Sunday to win the LaSalle Bank Open by one shot over Cliff Kresge.
Dufner ended at 5-under-par 279 -- the highest winning score in relation to par since Joe Ogilvie won the 2003 Jacob's Creek Open with a 5-under total.
Of course, that was of little concern to Dufner as he claimed his $135,000 check -- the most lucrative winner's share among the Nationwide Tour's U.S. stops this season.
'The biggest source of pride for me is just winning a golf tournament again,' said Dufner, who collected his first victory since the 2001 Wichita Open. 'It has been a while for me and that had bothered me because I knew I had the game to win again.'
In addition to the substantial monetary reward, the victory also netted Dufner a berth in the Cialis Western Open on the PGA Tour next month.
Before that, he will be playing in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot next week -- this after qualifying last Tuesday.
'To get back to the PGA Tour is great, but just winning again is what means the most to me,' admitted Dufner, who leaped from 25th to third on the money list.
Kresge also shot a 1-under 70 in his final round to end at 4-under-par 280 at the challenging, par-71 Glen Club. He was done in by a missed 23-foot par putt on the 18th hole after Dufner had pulled even with a birdie at 17.
After Dufner and Kresge, only three other players broke par for the tournament.
Doug LaBelle II and Cameron Beckman tied for third place at 2-under-par 282 after rounds of 69 and 73, respectively. Overnight leader Steve Allan of Australia sputtered to a 4-over 75 and ended alone in fifth place at 1-under-par 283.
Overall, the tournament scoring average was 73.857 -- a lofty number manufactured, in part, by the course's thick rough and fast greens.
'This tournament just keeps getting better and better,' said Dufner. 'I definitely feel like it is one of our major championships, and that makes victory even sweeter.'
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