Dufner brings acorns home to Auburn
PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner returned home with not only the Wanamaker Cup, but also a handful of acorns from Oak Hill — and possibly a plan to replace the famed Toomer's Oaks at his alma mater Auburn.
The oaks were removed earlier this year after being poisoned by Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr., and reporters who greeted Dufner on his return home suggested he plant the acorns at Toomer's Corner instead of at the home he's building.
“That’d be nice if they’re up to it. It’s an idea," Dufner told The War Eagle Reader. 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.”
According to Auburn horticulture professor Dr. Gary Keever, it might work.
“Some of the same oaks that grow in upstate New York will grow here, while others won’t,” Keever told TWER. “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 Auburn, Alabama.”
Since Dufner is no gardener, he and his wife also spoke with Oak Hill's general manager and arranged to have a sapling shipped to the new homesite as well.
''So at least that one will take root,'' Dufner laughed. ''I will have some trees out there, and it will be a neat experience — first major championship at Oak Hill and, hopefully, have some of their oak trees out there on the property.''
Watch Dufner's entire interview in the video below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.