Jason Dufner - as his wife sees him
Last updated: 16th October 2012
This week the Aussies are eagerly looking forward to seeing Jason Dufner teeing off in the ISPS HANDA Perth International, but not very long ago they would not have cared less because he was a relative unknown.
A little over a year ago Dufner's hitherto invisible stony face seemed to explode out of nowhere when he almost won the 2011 US PGA Championship.
At the end of a long, tense day he was finally beaten in the play-off by another of the US PGA Tour's still-to-win-a-major campaigners, Keegan Bradley. But even before that, during his week-long battle for the title, this mostly-expressionless, shaggy-haired individual with an unusual pre-shot wiggle, waggle had managed to interest a sizeable audience.
Who is this guy and where's he from? Everybody seemed to be asking.
It didn't take them long to find out more, for rather than allowing his desperately unlucky defeat to shatter his confidence and will, the then 34-year-old Dufner came hammering back to become the hottest mid-season player on the PGA Tour, winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and then the HP Byron Nelson Classic before getting closer than close to winning a third title just a week later at the Crown Plaza Colonial.
He next went on to make a strong bid for the US Open before finishing fourth while he was second only to Tiger Woods on the FedeEx Cup standings when the tour entered its Four-game Play-off Stage.
His consistently accurate play off the tee didn't earn him a play-off victory. Nor did he win the FedeEx Cup, but he did make the US Ryder Cup team for the first time and by the end of the year he had established himself as one of the stand-out golfers on the US Tour.
By now the golfing world had learned a lot more about this relatively late starter who seemed to play his golf with ice in his veins and very little emotion, his long curly hair and his round, expressionless face leaving you with the impression that if he hadn't played golf, he would have made the finest unhappy clown the circus world had ever seen.
And that wiggle, waggle that leads unhesitatingly into a fast and very solid swing made him stand out from the crowd even more.
By now we all knew that Jason Christopher Dufner was born on March 24, 1977, in Cleveland Ohio, that he is 1.78m tall and was educated and played his college golf at Auburn University.
We also knew that he had climbed his way up into the heights on the World Rankings list where today he sits at No 10 and on the US PGA Tour money list where, with earnings to date of $4,869,304 this year, he is fourth only to World No 1 Rory McIlroy, Woods and Brandt Snedeker, the FedEx Cup winner.
They will also have heard of how he took a few days off from golf during that sizzling 2012 mid-year run and up and married his long-time sweetheart, Amanda Boyd.
Since then Amanda has helped us learn quite a lot more about her unusual husband.
Here then, in the same week that he will make his Australian debut in the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup CC in Perth are some of the observations she has made in interviews with the media, notably the PGA Tour.com .
As a child his friends called him hot dog, perhaps because he was fascinated by baseball and basketball and perhaps because he loved Coca Cola - as he still does today.
"He would drink 10 a day if I would let him," she insists.
He's always hated tomatoes but loves college football and is so attached to the Auburn Football team, he says that watching them is like watching his family playing.
He also loves German food, very largely because "his grandparents came over from Germany so as a child he often ate the authentic food of that country."
Amanda Dufner says her husband is the most hugely organized person she has ever known. "He always makes lists for everything. He carries them around in paper notebooks but he also has back ups on his computer.
He wasn't raised in the south but his wife sees him as being a true southern gentleman who, she says, "always opens the door for me".
In sharp contrast to his sombre on-course, persona, Amanda also see him as being, "So very funny.
"Once he gets to know you he will keep you laughing forever," she says.
"Dufner doesn't read the newspaper but checks out the news on his iPad every morning, including TMZ," she has disclosed, adding that he is also a statistics junky pertaining to all sports, not just golf - "He can answer the most random questions from even the most obscure teams and seasons" and he also loves to collect sports memorabilia.
"He will carry around items if there is even a small chance he can get a signature."
In direct contrast once more to the golfer who so often seems to have ice in his veins, Dufner is fascinated by animals and can sit at the zoo for hours just watching one animal.
"He also can't wait to be a dad," his wife hastily adds.
"I think he will be amazing. That will be his true calling," she insists before disclosing that her husband is a true native of Ohio and loves Skyline Chili.
"We happened to pass one in Tampa while on Tour," she recalled, "and now we have to hit it up every year. This year we ate there four nights in a row!!
Dufner and Motor cars?
"Let's says this," Amanda Dufner answers, "As a child he remembers riding around in his dad's Dodge Challenger. It has always been his dream to have one customized. Finally after five years of deliberation he got it!"
"Jason is very involved with the Auburn University golf team. He loves mentoring the boys and helping in any way he can. I think maybe when he retires he would love to become some type of consultant for the team," his spouse says of a man she sees as being "the most loyal person I have ever met.
"He has had the same caddie for over 12 years, the majority of his friends have been around for years and he always stays true to his team."
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