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Published: Monday, 5/21/2012

Birdie on 18 lifts Dufner to victory

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jason Dufner captured the Byron Nelson Championship by one stroke. Jason Dufner captured the Byron Nelson Championship by one stroke.
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IRVING, Texas — A month ago, Jason Dufner was a single man still in search of his first PGA Tour victory.

Life has certainly changed for the 35-year-old golfer who last summer at the PGA Championship blew a four-stroke lead with four holes to play and lost in a playoff.

With a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday, Dufner closed out a one-stroke victory over Dicky Pride to win for the second time in four weeks.

“You probably couldn’t dream it any better than what’s been going on here,” Dufner said. “The wedding has been in the works for close to a year, so we know that’s been coming around the corner. And there’s been a lot of good golf since then, but to win two events and get married in the span of 22 days, pretty remarkable.”

Dufner got his first victory April 29 at New Orleans, then got married the following week.

Now he has already won again, this time making $1.17 million and taking over the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings.

His closing birdie wrapped up a 3-under 67 round for an 11-under 269 to avoid a playoff with Pride.

Pride, whose only PGA Tour victory in a 20-year professional career came in 1994, was at 10 under with a par-saving 22-foot putt at No. 18 for a round of 67 after hitting his drive into the water.

Moments later, Dufner made a putt that was only a few feet longer but on virtually the same line.

Joe Durant, who was the final alternate added to the Nelson field, shot a 65 to finish in a tie for third at 271 with Henry (68), Marc Leishman (66) and rookie Jonas Blixt (66).

Munoz wins Match Play

GLADSTONE, N.J. — Azahara Munoz beat Candie Kung 2 and 1 to win the Sybase Match Play Championship, a title that was set up when Morgan Pressel was penalized for slow play while in control of their semifinal match.

It was the first LPGA Tour win for Munoz, but this was shrouded in controversy. It also will put more focus on pace of play in golf.

Pressel appeared to take a 3-up lead with a par at the 12th hole. But before she could tee off on No. 13, a tour official informed her that she had violated the tour’s pace of play rule and lost the hole, dropping her lead to 1-up and changing momentum.

Munoz, a former Arizona State star from Spain, then rallied to beat Pressel 2 and 1.

Pressel beat Vicky Hurst 2 and 1 in the third-place match. Kung beat Hurst 2 and 1 in the semifinals.



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