GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA | If
Jason Dufner felt any lingering disappointment from his playoff loss to
Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship, it had melted away by the
time Dufner arrived at the Wyndham
A day after letting a late four-stroke
lead slip away at the Atlanta Athletic
Club, Dufner was back home in Auburn,
Ala., where he got the unexpected treat
of being saluted by the Auburn football
team. He was invited to campus to meet
with the players and coaches, who gave
him a standing ovation when he arrived
at a team meeting. It shocked Dufner.
“You wouldn’t expect some
320-pound linemen to be watching golf
on Sunday but they were,” Dufner said.
At Greensboro, where he missed the
36-hole cut, Dufner said he got interesting reactions from various players
and acquaintances when they saw him.
“It’s been kind of a weird experience,” Dufner said. “Everybody that’s
come up to me, it’s almost like it’s a
funeral or something tragic happened. I
don’t feel that way at all.
“It was a great experience. Unfortu-
nately, I wasn’t able to win but I had a
great chance, my best opportunity prob-
ably to win a Tour event, so I feel good.”
Dufner didn’t brood over the chance
to make his first Tour victory a major.
When Olafur Loftsson, a senior on
the Charlotte 49ers’ men’s golf team,
teed it up in the Wyndham Championship, it was a monumental moment for
him and for his native Iceland.
Loftsson became the first Icelandic-born golfer to play in a PGA Tour event,
earning his spot by winning the Cardinal
Amateur in Greensboro the weekend
before the Tour event.
It was a significant enough news event
in Iceland that two television crews made
the trip to document Loftsson’s week. He
even joked with reporters that the television crews would be easy to identify.
“Very tanned,” he said. “You can
recognize them by their skin color.”
Loftsson was introduced to the game
by his parents in Iceland, where golf is
bigger than many may think. Loftsson
said there are more than 60 courses in
the country, many built links-style, and
golf is the second-most popular sport
in his country behind soccer.
Padraig Harrington and his family
were booked to spend last week at the
Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas.
That is until Harrington found
himself in 130th position in the playoff
race with a good finish in the Wyndham
Championship his only way to get into
the FedEx Cup race. He was content to
go on vacation with his family but his
wife decided otherwise.
“My wife (Caroline) made the deci-
sion,” Harrington said. “She said, ‘I
think you’ve got to go and play.’ ”
That meant their children had their
plans changed for them.
“I have a 7-year old and a 3-year
old,” Harrington said. “We only had to
tell the 7-year old we were changing
FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS:
WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT
123 – Arjun Atwal
124 – Padraig Harrington
125 – William McGirt
126 – Justin Leonard
127 – Matt Jones
128 – Tim Petrovic
the plans. The 3-year old – one swim-
ming pool is the same as the next to
his business acquired the host site of
the Wyndham earlier this year.
What has changed is the brick champions’ wall located behind the clubhouse, not far from the ninth and 18th
greens. It honors the long list of winners
at Sedgefield, dating back to the 1940s.
“I’m amazed by how many books
I read that mention Sedgefield. It has
such a proud tradition,” McConnell
said. “I had no idea how rich the pedigree of players who’ve won here is.” l