Dufner wins play-off as Donald reclaims top spot

Jason Dufner beat Ernie Els in a sudden death play-off to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, an event which saw Luke Donald regain top spot in the world rankings.

Donald needed a top-seven finish at Avondale to regain pole position from Rory McIlroy – and he got it – finishing third.

However, the winner of the tournament was American Dufner, who edged out Els on the second hole of the play-off to land his first PGA title. Dufner had not won in his previous 163 starts on the US PGA Tour and until Sunday was best remembered for losing a play-off to Keegan Bradley in last year’s US PGA Championship.

Thirty five year-old Dufner, who marries fiancee Amanda Boyd next month, said afterwards: “It was a tough day, I’d already put up a good number. It’s been tough trying to get this first win, so this is a little bit of a monkey off my back.”

For Donald, a final round 67 followed efforts of 73, 65 and 66 to see him finish two shots behind Dufner and Els.

Birdies on the third, ninth, 11th, 13th and 18th ensured the Englishman finished on his own at 17 under par.

America’s Ryan Palmer and Canada’s Graeme DeLaet were tied for fourth on 16 under – Palmer firing a final round 69 and DeLaet finishing with a 71.

Steve Stricker was sixth on 15 under after a 70, with fellow Americans trio Ken Duke (70), Cameron Tringale (71) and John Rollins (72) a shot further back. Compatriot Justin Rose finished tied for 10th on 13 under.


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