Dufner back in Manhattan as PGA Champion two years after proposal

Jason Dufner on top of the Empire State Building
Julius Mason/The PGA of America
Jason Dufner and the Wanamaker Trophy were on top of the world at the Empire State Building.
By
Melissa Murphy
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

See photo gallery of Jason Dufner's big day in New York on Tuesday

NEW YORK -- The last time Jason Dufner was on a Manhattan rooftop, he was down on one knee proposing to his future wife. 

On Tuesday, Dufner was hoisting the PGA Championship trophy on top of the Empire State Building, two days after winning his first major. 

The Alabama golfer proposed at a restaurant overlooking the Hudson River amid fireworks on the Fourth of July in 2011. 

"It was very romantic," Amanda Dufner said. "He is not a romantic person at all, so I was very shocked." 

She was on the 18th green to embrace him Sunday after the final round at Oak Hill in Pittsford, N.Y. Amanda said her stoic husband, who managed to crack a smile and pump his fist after the victory, didn't say much. 

"It was so crazy, it all just kind of flew by," she said. "We were both kind of in shock. I told him he deserved it, it was his time." 

Dufner beat Jim Furyk by two strokes, highlighting a week in which he shot a 63 in the second round to tie a major championship record. 

"I was just excited that the round was over and that I was going to be able to lift the trophy," said Dufner, with a laugh. "It was a long week, you've really got to grind. You're really exhausted by the end of it." 

The 36-year-old Dufner earned a measure of redemption after blowing a four-shot lead at the 2011 PGA Championship in Atlanta and losing in a playoff to Keegan Bradley. 

"I had a chance to win the thing," he said. "I was just hoping I'd have another chance to win one." 

 

 

In the final round, he drew on the lessons from his other majors. 

 

"The experience of being in that situation, knowing how you're going to feel, how the field is going to respond, how the golf course is going to play, what shots you're going to need," Dufner said. "All that stuff adds up." 

Coming up for Dufner are the FedExCup playoffs and the Presidents Cup in October. The Dufners -- who were married in May 2012 in Auburn, Ala. -- will take a vacation and hit the beach this fall.