Jason Dufner’s life could not be better right now after coming off a PGA Championship victory. Now, he is hoping to use that victory to restore a sacred tradition at his alma mater.
Auburn University, where the golfer attended school, is currently without the oak trees that have long been at the center of one of college football’s greatest rituals. The rolling of the oak trees at “Toomer’s Corner” after a victory has been put to rest since the trees were uprooted after being poisoned by crazed Alabama fan Harvey Updyke, Jr.
Dufner hopes his recent victory can lead to a replacement of the trees.
After taking acorns from the site of his victory, Oak Hill, Dufner hopes to use those to plant new trees at the legendary site.
I know we got some time before we have to plant something in that area.
That would be pretty cool, but that’s pretty selfish on my part, too,
but maybe it’ll be an option.”
A horticulturalist from the school believes such a plan could be possible.
“Some of the same oaks that grow in upstate New York will grow here,
while others won’t,” professor Dr. Gary Keever said. “I would first have to identify
the species. Another possible issue is that of seed provenance which may
limit the southern movement (lack of heat tolerance) of seed just as
the reverse (lack of cold hardiness). With more information, it would be
easier to assess the merit of growing trees from upstate New York in
In addition to resurrecting the tradition with the replacement trees, Dufner also has an eye on beautifying his own property. He and his wife have made arrangements to have a sapling shipped to their home for planting.