Anyway, if the putting surfaces are as atrocious as the "fine fescue" grasses were at Chambers Bay, back in 2015, all the competitors will ape Justin’s Dufnering (more on that momentarily) - while the USGA crawls into a hole - no matter how great these Erin Hills bentgrass greens are purported to be.
Gotta love Duf Daddy because he doesn't put on airs. He gives us ordinary blokes hope. He proves that dedication to his craft (despite his common-man physique) can make a beginner who struggled on the tour, taking nine long years to break into the top 100 golfers in the world - a winner. He's a poor man's John Daly - and like John he's been rumored with life problems of the wife. Specifically, according to the National Enquirer – who scooped the slimy pol, John Edwards and extra-marital squeeze Rielle Hunter, “love child” tawdriness - the Dufner was said to have been part of a not-at-the-same-time sexual tryst between him, ex-wife Amanda, and some guy named Tiger Woods - with Lindsey Vonn an unplayable lie at the time.
Sex games and machinations aside, will Erin Hills, just 45 minutes north-west of Milwaukee, suit Jason’s game and deliberations for this 117th edition of the U.S Open? Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director, given the botched job at Chambers Bay, swings for the fences, declaring that this golf course is “...worthy of identifying the game’s very best.”
And given that Dufner is at his best right now...he might be able to survive the 608 yard, par 5, 1st hole and the 613 yarder, 14th. Dufner, however, off the tee is ranked around 99th at 290.0 yards. Dustin Johnson, whom Bodog has odds on as winning (compared to its ranking of Jason as 22nd best chance) leads driving length at 319 big ones. Dufner’s putting is even more average. He candidly confesses "I've been putting bad for 17 years...” This week he ranks 112th. So how could he possibly win this U.S Open? His play from the fairways is better, ranking 46th, but his compact, torso-based swing is consistent. Indeed for a man with a soft round belly - when he isn't a Thinny Minnie - and with a physique and musculature, no matter his overall weight, resembling a Sunday duffer, it's amazing the guy plays as well as he does - and it's astounding his torso is running the swing. Heck, he set a 36-hole record in winning Jack Nicklaus's tournament.
To continue, there are lots of sand traps, pot bunkerish - which will test Dufner and his 157th sand save ranking - and others who will find themselves sometimes hitting out sideways or backwards – there is lots of fescue grass between tee to greens, fringing the latter, and alongside - and surrounding - fairways to boot. The course may be relatively new but its foundations of rolling hills were formed by glaciers 10 thousand years ago. And, for the past 7 years, 1,815 tons of sand have been used as top dressing on the 40 acres of fairways...
This links public course features lots of wind. Great ball striking is a must. Dufner, with his cute pre-shot waggles, has that attribute, epitomized by wondrous wedge play. Undoubtedly assistant superintendents Alex Beson-Crone and Adam Ayers and 1 of 3 course architects, Dana Fry, are engagingly concerned – and have been since 2010 when they were awarded the 2017 date, with getting the place “just so.”
For what it’s worth Eric Steimer, Championship Manager, for the 2017 U.S. Open calls it a tremendous property. The USGA believes in the site – lionizing it as a field of dreams...For many players it will be their first time playing this course. For the 35,000 fans following the pros over the 8-mile long course, it will be their first time seeing their stars live. For the 135 million pumped into the local region, it will be their economy on the gravy train. For us watching on TV, it will be panoramic vistas coupled with minimalist design - combining to have the best handle, or mishandle the rough...
Back to Jason. During an interview on the Kelly & Michael show he brought out the Wanamaker PGA Trophy. (The top comes off – and it can hold, 47 beers.) He, of course was amiable, and forthright. When asked to comment on his putt, that if sunk, would have set an ALL-TIME golf record Majors’s score of 62, he called it the worst effort he made all week.
Which brings us to the ALL-TIME coolest move called Dufnering. Asked to explain how Dufnering came about Duf explained he had sat Indian style for 30 minutes, at J. Erik Jonsson Community School in Dallas in a charity appearance, mused that he had already been in the second grade, wondered to himself when this event was going to be over, wanted it to get done – for his body’s sake, and, before the session ended, while the teacher talked about relaxation, breathing, and how to get ready for tests, he sorta “checked out” and relaxed his sore frame via Dufnering, sitting legs straight out, arms draped at the sides, leaning against a wall. He smiled shyly, saying the Dufnering international craze “turned out good.” Dufnering, he added, wasn’t premeditated, wasn’t meant to be disrespectful, was a natural moment, but didn’t impress his then wife one bit – “...because she sees it all the time. Apparently I do it all the time.”
And Mr. Dufner, The War Eagle from Auburn University, with the Tasmanian devil face and teddy bear countenance, wins big tournaments some of the time. And if he doesn’t “check out” and does keep up with his new military-style breathing regimen to prevent batting and battling the ball around the green, who is to say he can’t become the next U.S. Open winner?