We were fortunate to score an interview with Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA Champion at Oak Hill country club, this spring. What a great job he did! Less successful was our attempt to lock down Jason Dufner, the 2013 winner of the exact-same tournament at the exact-same venue. In the words of his handlers, We are going to take a pass on this interview.  You’re not the only one; we are passing on all others as well, so you’re aware.  Thanks for your understanding.

Honestly, that was nice of them. Most people just give you the big smokescreen or don’t even respond. However, if you read interviews with the 2013 PGA Champion soon, you’ll know that someone was blowing smoke our way:)

Having our hopes and dreams crushed and broken, we turned to our saving grace: fiction. We decided to write the answers that we would have loved to receive from Mr. Dufner (or from any golfer, let’s be honest.) Here, then, is a completely-made-up, one-hundred-percent-untrue, singularly-fictional interview with not Jason Dufner, the not PGA Champion of 2013.


A bridge that Jason Dufner crossed four times,                    on his way to victory at the 2013 PGA Championship.

1. As a youth, you lived in Cleveland for 11 years, then Washington D.C. area, then Fort Lauderdale. Were you playing golf the entire time, or did you pick it up along the way?
Golf was always there for me. It wasn’t anything like Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, where I lived near a golf course and grabbed golf balls to sell back to people. I just always felt a connection to the stick and ball sports, and golf was the stick that stuck. Cleveland has some really cool terrain around it, so you learn to hit all sorts of shots. DC was busy, but I found time to hit some shots on the Mall, when the park police weren’t looking. Then came Florida, which I believe translates to “golf” in some language. So, yeah …

Jason Dufner, looking down on the rest of us.

2. How did you end up at Auburn University? Were you recruited out of junior golf/high school, or did you have to walk on at Auburn?
Auburn was the right fit. You know, a university that screams WAR EAGLE for no apparent reason, fit my vibe. Jim Furyk should have gone there instead of Arizona. Maybe he didn’t look like a bald eagle back then, I don’t know. WAR BALD EAGLE may be too many syllables.

Jason Dufner hits an approach shot to one of eighteen greens.

3. You lost big events before you won your major. What did losing the 1998 USGA Public Links and the 2011 PGA reveal to you (other than frustration) as a competitor?
Golfers have short memories. Let me correct that: successful golfers have short memories. Trevor Immelman beat me in the Publinks in 1998, and he has that cool accent from South Africa, so I didn’t mind it so much. We played at Torrey Pines, way before they ever thought of hosting major championships. Keegan Bradley got me in a three-hole, aggregate playoff in 2K11 at Atlanta Athletic Club, in the PGA Championship. Whacha gonna do? I made some bogies coming down the stretch and he made some birdies. He got me by one in the playoff. Like I said, short memory. Just puff out your chest, bite your lip, get the job done.

Jason Dufner: puffing, biting, getting the job done.

4. Arriving at Oak Hill in 2013, you were a proven tour winner, but not yet a major champion. What did you like about the East course at Oak Hill? Did you have expectations?
I became a huge fan of the Garbage PlateIt’s a mess of nearly every food known to mankind, all piled into an uninterpretable heap. It’s tasty, salty, crunch, gooey, pretty much everything you can imagine, short of chocolate. As far as the course went, I’m a straight-ball hitter and the PGA Championships of the early 2010s put a premium on that sort of thing. My mantra was: find the fairway, find the green, make a few putts. I wasn’t winning long-drive contests, so I couldn’t rely on bomb and gauge as my modus operandi.

Jason Dufner wins the deep-flight divot contest.

(Halfway home and just wanted to remind you: this is a completely-made-up, one-hundred-percent-untrue, singularly-fictional interview with not Jason Dufner, the not PGA Champion of 2013.)

5. You opened with 68 at Oak Hill in 2013. You were three shots back of Jim Furyk, who seemed to be ageless. How did you feel about your opening round, and your position inside the top ten?
Any time that you are under 70 in the first round of a major, you like your chances. You cannot win a major on day one, but you can make it hard on yourself. You take what the course gives you. The East gave me two shots under par, and I was happy to receive them. I had no idea that Friday was coming, but a three-shot deficit with three-quarters of a tournament left, meant nothing.

Sometimes, you find the answer in the dirt.

6. You were thrust into the spotlight and the lead, with a record-tying round of 63 in round two. To that point, no one had shot below 63 in a men’s major championship. What happened that day, to allow you to go seven-under par? We guess it got started with an eagle two at the second. Please walk us through the day.
Like I said, I hit irons well. The approach shot into the second was really lucky. It sailed way right, bounced off a lady’s purse, ricocheted off a turtle’s shell, hit a sprinkler head in the fringe, then rolled toward the hole like it was made of ore and the hole was a magnet. Honestly, I knew that there were turtles on the course, but I never thought that one would venture that far away from the creeks. Bought the lady a new purse. Gave the sprinkler head a wink and a kiss. Karma, you know.

A pond where turtles lived.

7. Round three was pretty mundane, but you fell out of the lead. Fourteen pars, two birdies, a par and a double. Was this a day of I don’t have it and I need to hold on or I can’t believe I’m hitting it this well and not making birdies?
You know, I was at that stage in my career where these sorts of rounds were commonplace. We all knew how to handle them. Low round the day before, so don’t work too hard to try to match it. If you do, fine. If you don’t, still have Sunday. I knew that I would not have two rounds over par in the tournament, so only plus-one on day three, not wearing plus-fours when the temperature was plus-eighty, was fine with me.

Maybe Jason Dufner watching Jim Furyk tee off.

8. Round four saw you play great golf (minus five) through 16 holes, then make a pair of bogies coming home, to win by two shots over Furyk. This round seemed more similar to Friday than the other two rounds. How light or heavy was the challenge that day, and how did you overcome it (and the incessant chants of bah-bah-booey)?
A lot of people say that Furyk resembles a bald eagle, but let’s remember, he had won the US Open a decade earlier, and had come close on a lot of other Major-Championship Sundays. He might have been due. I knew that I needed to make birdies and, let’s face it, I can hit irons close. I did that  fair amount, and I was able to score a few chirps and close out the big bird himself by a pair of shots.

Regarding the entire Bah Bah Booey fascination, I was actually encouraging my fan base to pair it with the inimitable sound of the Vuvuzela. The 2010 soccer World Cup was fresh in everyone’s mind, and the only thing worse than the Bah-Bah was the Vu-Vu. Sadly, the vuvuzela never made an appearance, which is why the final margin was so close.


Not the vuvuzela nor the bah-bah-booey enforcement squad.

We hope that you enjoyed our completely-made-up, one-hundred-percent-untrue, singularly-fictional interview with not Jason Dufner, the not PGA Champion of 2013.