If you weren’t already a fan of Jason Dufner – if he hadn’t won you over with his everyman demeanor and his perpetual waggles and his sublime ball-striking – the following story should be enough to finally do the trick.
It all starts with a guy named Rob Labritz. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you likely remember his YouTube moment. He’s the longtime New York club professional who holed a wedge shot from 95 yards at the PGA Professional National Championship to collect the 20th and final spot in the field at this year’s PGA Championship.
Labritz (at far right above) is no newbie to the glitz and glamour of the big-time. This was his fourth appearance in the year’s final major and he’s long owned connections all over the golf world. It was through one of these connections, St. John’s University coach Frank Darby, that Labritz found himself in a juicy practice round match on Tuesday at Oak Hill Country Club last month.
Darby set up Labritz with Keegan Bradley, one of his former players and, of course, a former PGA champion. The two of them would prepare for the tournament by playing a match against heavyweights Dufner and Dustin Johnson.