Devil Ball Golf

Five things we learned from the HP Byron Nelson Championship

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Jason Dufner / Getty Images

Let's be honest, we're all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage -- unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that's the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Jason Dufner the real deal? It sure looks that way — Remember when we all questioned when, if ever, Jason Dufner was going to win a PGA Tour tournament? Yeah, we can all look back on those days and laugh now. After his win at the Nelson, Dufner now has two wins in a 22-day span. Not only that, he's positioned himself as a major force on tour by making some big-game putts, something that seemed to elude him over the last couple of years. After the choke job at the PGA Championship, he's looking more and more like the real deal following another impressive win. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go work on my waggle.

J.J. Henry misses out on a golden opportunity to resurrect his career — Winning on the PGA Tour is usually a blessing. But in J.J. Henry's case, it's been nothing but a curse. After winning the Buick Championship and making the Ryder Cup team in 2006, Henry's career went into a tailspin. He hasn't finished higher than 76th in the FedEx Cup standing, and through the early part of this season appeared to hit rock bottom when he missed five consecutive cuts. While you should never put a lot of weight into one tournament, Henry had a chance this week to turn his career around, and through 70 holes he had a legitimate chance, until a three-putt double-bogey on the 17th hole took him from a one-shot lead to a one-shot deficit. Henry can console himself with his $312,000 third-place check (the most he's made in one week since the 2010 Turning Stone Championship), but he has to feel like he let a perfect opportunity get away from him this week.

Dicky Pride comes within a single shot of a fairytale ending — Dicky Pride was thisclose from producing one of the greatest storylines of the season. The 42-year-old, who hasn't played full time on the PGA Tour since 2002 (severe health problems limited his playing time), has been a mere footnote over the last 10 years. He almost changed that on Sunday. Hanging around the lead all day, Pride found himself within a shot of Jason Dufner coming to the 18th hole. But after his tee shot found the water, Pride figured his chances were sunk. Far from it. He somehow found a way to hit his third shot on the green, before canning an incredible 22-foot par save. Even though Pride came up a shot short, you have to be impressed with the way he played, especially after being out of the spotlight since his last win 18 years ago (1994 FedEx St Jude Classic).

Winds play a factor once again at TPC Four Seasons — TPC Four Seasons, the site of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, isn't an incredibly difficult course. But when the winds blow, as it has the last couple of years, the course can turn into one of the most difficult on tour. Jason Dufner finished 11-under, but it wasn't until the wind relented on Sunday that the course allowed players to really get aggressive. Throw out the windless opening round and Sunday and the winner most likely would have finished single-digits under par for the third time in the last six years.

Jonas Blixt is quietly putting together a solid season — The 28-year-old Swede isn't a name that rolls off the tongues of avid golf fans. But that could be changing in the near future. The 2012 PGA Tour rookie has now posted three top-15 finishes in his last three starts, including a T-3 at the Byron Nelson. John Huh was the rookie to watch early in the year, but if Blixt can keep this up, we could be mentioning him as a Rookie of the Year candidate before the season is over.

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