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Marla Ridenour on Sports

North Olmsted native Jason Dufner records ace in Memorial's second round

By Marla Ridenour Published: June 5, 2015

North Olmsted native Jason Dufner aced the par-3, 211-yard No. 16 Friday in the second round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Dufner used a 6-iron.

It was the first ace in the tournament since Steve Stricker in 2011, and Stricker went on to win. The last time a PGA Tour player recorded a hole-in-one and went on to win was this year when Dustin Johnson pulled off the feat at Doral in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.

Dufner's was the first ace on the hole since Joe Ozaki in 1996.

"Holes in one are great, kind of lucky," Dufner said.

Dufner, who shot a 6-under 66 in the first round, started the second round on the back nine. He had a stretch where he went birdie, eagle, ace at Nos. 14-16. He double-bogeyed No. 12 before turning it around.

"I needed to get back, I was kind of trending the wrong way," he said.

Dufner finished his round with a 3-under 67 that left him at 11-under, alone in second one shot behind leader David Lingmerth.

An Auburn University product, Dufner is seeking his first victory since the 2013 PGA. In 14 events this season, he's recorded two top 10s, earned $716,706 and stands 90th on the FedExCup points list. Dufner was recently divorced from wife Amanda and has also lost a lot of weight.

Asked how his round helped his confidence, Dufner said, "Last week was a pretty good week. I felt pretty good about my game coming in here. The practicing has been good, casual rounds, pro am has been good. That usually begets some good play in tournament rounds, so I'm excited."

Dufner's hole-in-one also won one year of mortgage payments for Joseph E. of Atlanta, Ga., in the Quicken Loans Hole-In-One Sweepstakes.

Dufner is also contributing $50 to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational's "Birdies for Kids" program for every birdie, eagle or double eagle in the 2014-15 tour season. On Friday, he carded four birdies and two eagles, bringing his total to 163 and seven, respectively.

Dufner said he watched all but the final two minutes of overtime of the Cavs' Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors Thursday in the NBA Finals. Before learning of Kyrie Irving's fractured left kneecap, he was optimistic about the Cavs' chances.

"They were right there with a chance to win," he said. "That's what they're trying to go, get one of these two. I'm sure they'll review some stuff and come up with some adjustments and maybe sneak one out of there."

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