"A tradition unlike any other."
Yes, the Masters. Also, Auburn being represented by upstanding gentlemen. It's a natural fit, and this week Auburn will be well represented by one of its own at the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.
Jason Dufner, a Cleveland native, graduated from Auburn in 2000 and currently resides in Auburn. He's an avid sports fan and, like all of us, loves the Tigers. He is well known around the athletic complex. Last year, following the devastating tornados that ripped through the state, he unveiled "Birdies for Bama", a fundraising program in which he donated $100 for every birdie and $500 for every eagle made between The Players and the Tour Championship to the tornado victims in Alabama.
Dufner, who claims to have not started playing golf until the age of 15, finished second in last year's PGA Championship. He has posted a pair of top 10 finishes in this young 2012 season and is currently ranked number 31 in the world. This will be his second time competing at the Masters and he is paired with Charles Howell III and Bernhard Langer.
He started the day Birdie/Birdie and went out in a 3-under 33. The back 9 wasn't as kind to him as he had a pair of bogeys. But two more birdies on the two back 9 par 5's helped Jason card a 3-under 69 on the opening round of the Masters. At the end of the first round he is tied for 4th with five others, 2 strokes behind leader Lee Westwood.
Duf finished 13 of 18 (72.2%) on greens hit in regulation, including being perfect through the first 8 holes. The rest of the field only managed 60.85%. He hit 11 of 14 (78.6%) fairways, again better than the field at 71%. The stats reinforce the fact that his ball striking and putting was solid all day. His group will tee off at 9:18am on Friday for round 2.