School daze: 'Dufnering' taking off

By Jason SobelMarch 29, 2013, 8:19 pm

HUMBLE, Texas – Golf has a new overnight craze and it’s all about imitating the laconic Jason Dufner.

It’s called “Dufnering” and if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’re clearly out of the loop, because the term is trending around the nation. It revolves around a photograph and the gravitational pull of social media. As Dufner himself explained the genesis of the phenomenon in a tweet: “What can I say, I was tired, my back hurt from sitting on the floor, and we were talking about relaxation and focusing.”

Like every story, though, there’s more to it than that.

On Thursday, Dufner visited Irving, Texas, where he was celebrated as the reigning Byron Nelson Championship winner. He met with the mayor, hobnobbed with event sponsors and toured the tournament’s offices before heading over to The Salesmanship Club School to speak with a third-grade class.

Jason Dufner

The lesson for the day was concentration, something that comes in handy when you’re trying to hit a golf ball in front of thousands of fans.

“It was a focus activity to help them get ready to learn,” said Tracy Cobb, the tournament’s director of communications. “It’s about concentrating, paying attention to breathing. They would stand up and put a beanbag on their heads, using that mental focus. Then we let Jason talk to them about importance of focusing on the golf course and how critical that is for him.”

By Cobb’s account, Dufner was engaging and having fun talking with the kids. Once he was done, they went through one more focusing exercise that involved multiple repetitions of standing up and sitting down. Upon the last time, Dufner relaxed a little and, well, history was made.

A local news reporter – though it could have been anyone; there were about 60 people in the room and many were taking cell phone photos – took a picture of Dufner sitting against a wall, legs stretched out while sitting on his hands, a distant look on his face. If a picture says a thousand words, this one screamed classic Dufner, the man who looks the same whether he makes birdie or bogey, whether he’s winning or missing the cut.

Almost instantly, the photo went viral. It was posted to, then started flying around Twitter and other social media outlets. By Thursday night, fellow PGA Tour stars such as Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald were posting their own “Dufnering” photos, and waves of golf fans and nonfans alike started flooding the Internet with submissions of their own.

For more 'Dufnering' Twitter photos click here, or on the image below.

Bubba Watson

“It's the best thing ever,” Rory McIlroy reported with a smile. “I've never had so much entertainment. I was on my own last night in the room and just going through things. The laughs, it's just too much. The first thing I said to Keegan [Bradley] when I saw them this morning, ‘This is best thing I've ever seen.’ … It was good entertainment for the night.”

The insinuation is that Dufner either wasn’t impressed or wasn’t having fun when the photo was taken, but those in attendance beg to differ.

“It’s a classic case,” said Byron Nelson tournament director Jon Drago, “of a picture being taken out of context.”

If any player is aware of how his profile can be boosted through social media, it’s Dufner. A two-time PGA Tour champion known as a solid ball-striker, he may not have much of a Q-rating if not for showing off his online persona.

What they're saying on Twitter

“It’s fun,” he said just a few weeks ago. “Me and a couple of other guys here on Tour, we have a little running war back and forth, just messing with each other, so that’s a neat way to interact with the fans. It’s good for my sponsors, it’s good for me, it’s good for my fans. They kind of feel like they can connect with me like we’re messaging back and forth.”

Now, much like NFL quarterback Tim Tebow brought “Tebowing” to the forefront, Dufner's name is synonymous with an action verb – and everybody wants in.

“When I saw how quick it got big and how everyone was doing, I started laughing hysterically,” Brandt Snedeker said. “I never knew Dufner had this wide range of appeal.”

“I couldn’t do it [Thursday night], because I was by myself. I tried to do it in front of a mirror and it didn’t work, so I waited until this morning and got Brandt and DJ to do it,” Bradley explained. “I’m a little nervous to be Dufnering at Augusta, but I’m going to be Dufnering everywhere I go, for sure.”

He and – for now – thousands of others, too. The latest craze should tell us plenty about the power of a photograph and the massive reach of social media. The world is now imitating a player whom most golf fans didn’t know just two years ago. It just proves how quickly things move these days.

As for Dufner, he hasn’t kept that expression from the photo in the time since it was taken, instead going from stoic to smiling – believe it or not.

'I can't really believe it, to be honest,” he said. “I've been laughing for some time about it. I think everyone is really enjoying it. The Twitterverse can be a pretty fun place.'

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Watch: Bubba casually hits flop shot over caddie's head

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 9:20 pm

We've seen this go wrong. Really wrong.

But when your end-of-year bonus is a couple of brand new vehicles, you're expected to go above and beyond every now and then.

One of those times came early Thursday at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, where Bubba Watson’s caddie Ted Scott let his boss hit a flop shot over his head.

It wasn’t quite Phil Mickelson over Dave Pelz, but the again, nothing is.

And the unique warm-up session paid off, as Watson went on to defeat Marc Leishman 3 and 2 to move to 2-0-0 in group play.

Hey, whatever works.

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Spieth explains why he won't play in a 'dome'

By Rex HoggardMarch 22, 2018, 9:01 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – No one at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was as excited about Thursday’s forecast as Jordan Spieth.

Winds blew across Austin Country Club to 20 mph, which is typical for this time of year in Texas, and Spieth put in a typical performance, beating HaoTong Li, 4 and 2, to remain undefeated entering the final day of pool play.

The windy conditions were exactly what Spieth, who never trailed in his match, wanted. In fact, demanding conditions factor into how he sets his schedule.

“I have, and will continue to schedule tournaments away from a dome, because it's just unusual for me. I like having the feel aspect,” said Spieth, who attended the University of Texas and played Austin Country Club in college. “Places with no wind, where it's just driving range shots, it's just never been something I've been used to. So I don't really know what to do on them.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Spieth used the CareerBuilder Challenge as an example. The Coachella Valley event rarely has windy conditions, and as a result he’s never played the tournament.

“I played in a dome in Phoenix, and I didn't strike the ball well there. Actually I've had quite a few this year, where we didn't have very windy conditions,” said Spieth, who will face Patrick Reed in his final pool play match on Friday. “I don't go to Palm Springs, never have, because of that. Look at where you can take weeks off and if they match up with places that potentially aren't the best for me, then it works out.”

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Curry jokes about Romo's 77: 'Got him by a stroke'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 22, 2018, 8:40 pm

This just in ... professional athletes are competitive. Even when they're playing their secondary sport.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption Thursday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo started hot with an even-par 36 on his opening nine holes, but faded down the stretch to open with a 5-over 77.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Ron Kroichick, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry couldn't help but crack a smile when informed of the score, saying, "I got him by a stroke."

Curry was referencing his brief foray into pro golf last August, when he shot back-to-back 4-over 74s at the's Ellie Mae Classic.

So just in case Romo needed another reason to go low tomorrow when he tees off at 1 p.m. in the second round, he's got one.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 1-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-1-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-2-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 1-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 2-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-1-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 1-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-1-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-2-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 2-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1