Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler
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Jason Dufner celebrated in classic Dufner fashion after his opening tee shot on Wednesday at Austin Country Club.
One of the more entertaining matches of the first day of the Dell Match Play featured Rickie Fowler and that noted comedian Jason Dufner. The Dufman, perhaps surprisingly, knocked his drive on the first hole a good 25 yards past Fowler – and then celebrated with the subtlety we've all come to expect from him.
Nice flex, there, Jason. Rickie got a good chuckle out of it, too, and the pair went on to halve the hole before Dufner won the match 2&1. 
Here's Dufner in action, and below it some other noteworthy shots from today.
Jason Dufner flexes when he outdrives Rickie Fowler at the Dell Match Play
Plane crash on golf course
Christian Dell, an 18-year-old pilot, brought his single-engine plane down on the Tallgrass Golf Course near Wichita, Kan., after its engine died.
So, kids, what did you do over Spring Break? Christian Dell and Nicole Klusener, a couple of high school students from Wichita, Kan., survived a plane crash – in part because they landed on a golf course.
Dell, 17, and Klusener, 18, had saved money to rent the single-engine M20C-Mooney for a Spring Break trip to Nashville, Tenn. All had gone well until they were about to land back in Wichita – not far from the airport, the plane's engine sputtered, then died.
A high school senior, Dell is a certified pilot, and he used his training to bring the plane down under control. During his descent, he avoided power lines, houses and trees before crash-landing on the 14th hole of the Tallgrass Golf Course, which is in the middle of a large residential development. 
"I just remember trying to restart the engine, frantically turning the key, pumping the throttle," Dell told KWCH-TV in Wichita. "So I decided we were going to make it to the runway. I turned back and there was just no way we were going to get there." 
The landing was pretty rough, and both kids sustained some serious scrapes and bruises. But they're both okay, and thankful they were so low to the ground when the engine cut out.
And amazingly, this is the second plane piloted by a teenager to crash-land on a golf course in the span of a couple weeks. On March 5, an 18-year-old pilot made an emergency landing on the course at the St. Petersburg Country Club in Florida.
The teenaged pilot in that incident was flying from Lakeland to Manatee County in a 1939 TaylorCraft single engine plane when it developed mechanical issues, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The vintage aircraft landed on the 12th fairway, and no injuries were reported.
Teen pilot crash-lands airplane on golf course in Kansas
March 23, 2016 - 1:49pm
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Courtesy PGA Minnesota Section
Tim Herron shows off Minnesota's golf vanity license plate.

Minnesota joined a growing number of states with a vanity golf license plate last summer, and Tim Herron wants golfers in that state to show their love of the game.

The Minneapolis native is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, although he hasn't scored a victory since the 2006 Bank of America Colonial. In four tournaments so far this season, Herron's made two cuts but came up short of playing on the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Still, "Lumpy" is a fan favorite and well-known in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. So it's no surprise he recorded this public service spot for the PGA Minnesota Section as a way of getting the word out about Minnesota's golf plates.



According to the Section, sales of the plates have exceeded expectations, with over 1,000 sold since they were unveiled in August. A portion of the proceeds goes to expand junior golf in Minnesota.

Several states -- mainly in the Southeast -- have golf vanity plates. For example, there are vanity plates available for motorists in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi. But Minnesota's is somewhat unique, in that the golf ball on the plate is the"O" in Minnesota.


Minnesota's golf vanity license plate effort gets a plug from Tim Herron
March 22, 2016 - 10:56am
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USA Today Sports Images
Long hitters J.B. Watson and Bubba Watson are paired in the same group.

The world's top professionals switch from stroke play to head-to-head competition this week, beginning Wednesday at Austin Country Club in the Dell Match Play Championships. It's the only match play event on the PGA Tour schedule -- and a great preview of what we might see at the 2016 Ryder Cup, coming up in September at Hazeltine National.

Instead of the original 64-player knockout format, the Dell Match Play is a three-day, 16-group round-robin, with the overall group winners moving into a 16-man showdown over the weekend. It's more like soccer's World Cup than March Madness, but the idea is the same: survive and advance.

The players were sorted into one of four groups by world ranking, and placed in their four-man groups by a random draw held Monday night at Austin's Paramount Theater.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion after beating Gary Woodland 4&2 at San Francisco's Harding Park last spring. Other recent winners include Jason Day (2014) and Matt Kuchar (2013).

Click here for a printable copy of the Dell Match Play bracket (.pdf)

Here are five groups to keep a close eye on this week (world ranking in parentheses):

Group 1
Jordan Spieth (1); Justin Thomas (31); Victor Dubuisson (39); Jamie Donaldson (51)

Reason to watch: Longtime friends Spieth and Thomas played a practice round together Monday, just hours before they were grouped together by the random draw. They've been playing against each other for almost a decade, so there shouldn't be any secrets there. Then there's Dubuisson, the mercurial Frenchman who pushed Jason Day to 23 holes in the 2014 final. And Jamie Donaldson, whose match play resume includes knocking the winning shot stiff in the 2014 Ryder Cup. The winner of this group plays the survivor from Louis Oosthuizen's group in the round of 16.

Group 2
Jason Day (2); Paul Casey (23); Thongchai Jaidee (36); Graeme McDowell (62)

Reason to watch: Coming off a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, you'd think Day would catch a break here. Not even close. The ping-pong balls were very unkind to the 2015 PGA Champion. Casey has the most career victories in this event -- 20 -- of anyone playing this year, and has runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. McDowell is outstanding at match play. And Jaidee has won four times in this event. And whomever survives could run into red-hot Charl Schwartzel in the round of 16.

Group 4
Bubba Watson (4); J.B. Holmes (21); Emiliano Grillo (33); Patton Kizzire (63)

Reason to watch: If you love to watch them hit it long, this is your group. Watson and Holmes are two of the longest hitters on the Tour. But don't sleep on Grillo. He's not only 60th in driving distance this season, but eighth in accuracy. And Kizzire might not be as long as those three off the tee, but he's amazing with the putter. Kizzire's fourth in strokes gained putting, and while you drive for show, in match play you truly do putt for dough.

Group 9
Patrick Reed (9); Phil Mickelson (17); Matthew Fitzpatrick (42); Daniel Berger (53)

Reason to watch: Call this group the "Old Man and the Three." Mickelson has 16 career Match Play wins, but he'll be pushed hard by three 20-somethings. Reed has the perfect temperament for match play, as shown by his 2014 Ryder Cup results. Young Englishman Fitzpatrick is making his first Match Play appearance, but he's battle-tested when it comes to head-to-head play. And Berger is the wild card. The winner of this group gets a huge test from Dustin Johnson/Jimmy Walker/Kiradech Aphibarnrat/Robert Streb in the next round.

Group 14
Zach Johnson (14); Shane Lowry (24); Martin Kaymer (44); Marcus Fraser (60)

Reason to watch: All four have played very well this winter, so it's a matter of keeping that momentum going. Johnson just finished fifth at Bay Hill. Lowry's made six consecutive cuts this season. Kaymer, the 2011 runner-up, lost his Tour card for this season but had a top-10 finish in Dubai in November. And Fraser, perhaps the least-known of this group, won the European Tour's Maybank Championship in Malaysia. Rory McIlroy's group awaits the winner. 

5 groups to watch at the Dell Match Play