Never heard of MJ Daffue? You’re not alone. Get to know the man out front at the U.S. Open

·2 min read

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Among all the big names near the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard, MJ Daffue is one many golf fans may not know.

He is making his major championship debut this week in Brookline, Massachusetts, at The Country Club and seems unfazed by the magnitude of the situation.

In Thursday’s opening round, Daffue shot a 67, good enough for a share of second behind only Adam Hadwin, who slept on the overnight lead alone at 4 under.

Daffue, a South African, had an early wake-up call Friday, teeing off at 6:56 a.m. ET, but he didn’t seem to mind. Through seven holes, he had four birdies on the card and led by three as he headed to the ninth tee.

Get to know the U.S. Open leader:

He earned his PGA Tour card less than two months ago

His last name is pronounced 'Duffy'

MJ Daffue lines up a putt on the eighth green during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

A slightly unfortunate name for a professional golfer.

He planned on skipping his U.S. Open qualifier

As he was narrowing in on locking up his PGA Tour card, Daffue didn’t want to lose a start on the Korn Ferry Tour. So, instead of playing in the final U.S. Open qualifying, he planned on playing in Wichita this week. However, he locked up his card a week before final qualifying so he was free to play for a spot in the Open.

Daffue earned medalist honors, shooting 8 under over 36 holes at Springfield Country Club in Ohio, and got a spot in this week’s field.

Best PGA Tour finish?

MJ Daffue of South Africa lines up a putt on the seventh green during the third round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson on October 03, 2020, in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

2020 Sanderson Farms Championship: T-12