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HUMANA CHALLENGE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CLINTON FOUNDATION


January 21, 2015


Jason Dufner


LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA

DOUG MILNE:テつ Like to welcome Jason Dufner to the media center here at the Humana Challenge.テつ Thanks for joining us here for a few minutes.テつ You're making your sixth start in the event and first since 2012, I believe.テつ I'll just turn it over to you for some comments.テつ Obviously I think first thing are going to want to know about you certainly taking care of yourself in the off season, gotten in great shape, and I know this is a special week with your involvement with Humana and their well being ambassador program.テつ So maybe a few comments on that and how you're feeling.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, I've partnered up this week with Humana, to kind of help them out and share my story with what I've been doing for the last four or five months.テつ It goes well with their overall involvement with this event with health and well being.
Last couple years I've been playing in Maui and then Sony and it's kind of tough to do all three of those.テつ So I haven't been here.テつ But I do enjoy being here.テつ This event is great.テつ Playing in the Palm Springs area is awesome.テつ The weather is always fantastic for the most part.テつ The golf courses are pretty reasonable.テつ I think they give you a good gauge of where you're at, what you need to work on, so if you're not going to start in Hawaii I think this is great opportunity to start your season here and be a part of the Humana Challenge.テつ We have got a great field.テつ Seems like there's more guys showing up this year and starting their season here than we have had in the past.テつ So I'm excited.
DOUG MILNE:テつ With that we'll take a few questions.

Q.テつ What was the impetus for the life‑style change for the weight loss, the change in, I assume, exercise and eating habits as well.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Not being able to play golf.テつ If I didn't do it, I wasn't going to be able to play golf.テつ So it was pretty simple for me.テつ Didn't really have a choice.テつ I haven't felt good for two or three years, to be honest with you.テつ Kind of came to a head last year.テつ I couldn't play.テつ I missed the playoffs, missed the defense of my PGA Championship.テつ More than likely missed playing in the Ryder Cup because of it.
So, not really ready to give the game of golf up yet.テつ And I needed to make some change, so I did.

Q.テつ Is it mostly diet or is it a combination?
JASON DUFNER:テつ I would say it's about 80/20 diet.テつ The weight loss is from diet a hundred percent.テつ I've still got, I've got a workout plan that I do that helps me with the mobility and strength in my shoulder, in my T spine.テつ I've got some mobility and strength programs I do for my lower body and my legs.テつ I do some cardio.
So most of it is diet and the diet is based around getting inflammation out of my body.テつ A lot of the weight that I had that I was carrying was inflammation.テつ Inflammation in my symptom being, inflammation in my shoulder and my joints.テつ It's pretty much gluten free.テつ No sugar.テつ No processed foods.テつ Natural sugars.テつ You find that in fruits and stuff like that.テつ No alcohol.テつ No soda.テつ All those things that you like to eat I pretty much don't eat anymore.

Q.テつ Is there an alternative to this?
JASON DUFNER:テつ No, there's not.テつ If you put those things in your body you're generally ‑‑ I didn't know, I didn't know that I felt bad, because I became used to it.テつ Once I got off of that, I learned how good I felt.

Q.テつ As a follow‑up from that, to specify some of the dietary changes, what are maybe two or three things that were the toughest to give up for you?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Fast food.テつ Processed food that we, that's pretty regularly available.テつ Being what we do, we travel a lot, fast food quick food, easy food, is easy.テつ It's easy.テつ You grab it, you go.テつ So, that's probably the hardest thing.テつ I really like chocolate and peanut butter, for whatever reason.テつ That doesn't, that isn't consumed very often anymore.テつ I went clean 11 straight weeks.テつ I didn't touch anything that wasn't ‑‑ I had a list of stuff that I can eat, can't eat.テつ I didn't touch anything that was on my red or yellow list.テつ I was just in my green list for 11 weeks.
That sucked.テつ But I had to do it.
Now occasionally I'll go and I shouldn't really, if you get off it, you're almost resetting, to be honest with you, from the people that I've talked to, so, I'll have meals here and there like in California In & Out Burger.テつ Got to have an In & Out burger.

Q.テつ Animal style?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, probably be the only one I eat all year.テつ So there's allowances here and there.テつ But I've been clean since that In & Out Burger Sunday, I've been clean since then.
(Laughter.)
So four days.

Q.テつ You certainly look a lot different.テつ I think it was just a couple years ago as your colleague Carl Petterson, he's a guy that he dropped a lot of weight and certainly had a pronounced affect on his golf game.テつ Are you noticing different things in the last few months with your body?
JASON DUFNER:テつ No, I haven't felt anything but good with my golf game.テつ I'm not really in golf shape right now.テつ I haven't played a lot of golf.テつ I went overseas for a month.テつ I played over there.テつ I came back, shut it down for eight weeks again and haven't touched a club until Christmas.テつ So, I've been practicing a little bit, I'm a little bit limited on how many balls I can hit, how much I can play.
Tournament weeks I'm going to have find a good median between how much I practice, practice rounds and being able to compete.テつ Because the most important thing is competing on Thursday through Sunday.テつ So, I don't really know where my game's at.テつ That's why I'm here playing this week.テつ That's why I'm playing next week.テつ That will give me a good assessment of where I'm at, what I can do, what I can't do, what I need to get better at.

Q.テつ Last summer leading into the PGA you had those issues with your I guess your shoulder, your neck.テつ What ultimately was it and did you do anything, did you have anything medically done to help alleviate it or has it all been about getting rest?
JASON DUFNER:テつ I don't really have a good answer for you, to be honest.テつ If you're familiar with how medical diagnosis go, they don't have a lot of great answers for you.テつ Unless you need surgery.テつ And I don't need surgery.テつ I'm not in that category.テつ I had a lot of inflammation in my body.テつ I had a lot of muscle soreness, muscle tightness, inflammation in my joints.テつ They think I had a thoracic outlet syndrome, where sometimes it's caused by your first rib, sometimes it's caused by muscle compression.テつ Where it compresses on the nerves that come out of your neck and go into your arm.テつ They think the muscles got so tight that they compressed on those nerves.テつ That's why I started having the dead arm.
I've had a lot of instability and issues in my shoulder with tendonitis, some arthritic conditions in my shoulder which I'm going to have to deal with continually.テつ And I can manage those, but once my arm went dead, I couldn't really play golf.テつ So I got a lot of rest, I got on a good treatment program to strengthen my shoulder, to get more mobility in that area.テつ And that's kind of where I'm at.テつ There's been a lot of oh it could be your neck, could be your shoulder, could be this, that.テつ So I'm trying to treat all of it and be smart about it.

Q.テつ You had a pretty good run of events there overseas where you played pretty well.テつ Did you surprise yourself with that?テつ Was it that much better feeling that much better that you were able to do that?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, I felt pretty good all four weeks.テつ I was a little bit, it flared up a little bit for me the first week I played.テつ But once I started going, I felt good.テつ I hadn't practiced, to be honest, with you much, maybe 10 days, where I was I don't think I hit more than 50 balls before the event.テつ During the event, I think I played 27 holes before I went over there.テつ So, I was happy that I played well, but sometimes when you get away from the game you don't have high expectations and you just kind of play and you're happy to be out there playing.テつ I was definitely happy to be playing again and happy to have some good results.テつ So that was nice.

Q.テつ I was wondering, now that you are back competing you van played since November, how will your diet be different?テつ You talked about your not eating fast food anymore and just managing your new diet now that you're back on the road and playing a lot of golf?
JASON DUFNER:テつ That's the biggest challenge.テつ Obviously, traveling makes it tough, but I need to come up with a system that's part of the thing I'm working on this weekend.テつ I'm going to need to be prepared.テつ To carry food on with me, and I need to find a Whole Foods each week.テつ I need to make better choices when we do eat out.テつ There's always something on a menu, other than fast food places that you can find that's pretty clean.テつ I'm finding a lot of restaurants will make accommodations for you, if you tell them X, Y, Z is how I would like it prepared, they will do it for you.テつ So I think I'll be eating a lot of chicken and vegetables on the road.
I think it's becoming more popular, you're seeing more and more restaurants do this stuff.テつ Even something like Chipotle is pretty clean as far as what they're doing, so.

Q.テつ When you first made the commitment, I'm going to start this diet regimen, I'm going to commit to losing the weight and what have you, how difficult was it at the start?テつ I think most of us understand how it is to start a diet and then you kind of back slide and then you say, the hell with it.テつ How difficult was it and was that a challenge?テつ Were there times that you were close to saying, whatever, or were you that committed that you just stuck with it?
JASON DUFNER:テつ The first couple days when you go gluten free and take all that out, you feel terrible.テつ I felt bad for five, six days.テつ Those were probably the most challenging.テつ But to be honest with you, I didn't really have a choice. テつI think one of the great attributes that top players in the world have, top people in what they do in the world is they make a decision about what they're going to do and they do it.テつ I think that's a great attribute amongst successful people, especially in athletics.テつ If you don't have a choice, if your decisions are between not playing and playing, I'm always going to choose playing.テつ So, if you have that mindset, most people's livelihood and what they do for a living don't depend on eating this cheese burger or piece of pizza or making these changes that make it tough.テつ But in my case it kind of does.テつ So, it wasn't that difficult.
The first five days sucked.テつ I felt terrible, I laid in bed for five day, literally.テつ Headaches and not feeling good.テつ But trying to get all that toxin out of you.

Q.テつ Do you have any other goals that are not health related, but just goals for this year that you would like to improve on?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, one of the things I think another kind of good thing that happened having this time off is I was able to work on my putting.テつ It was the one thing that I could do that I was cleared to do.テつ I came up went and saw some guys with AimPoint stuff I don't know if you're familiar with the fingers and Adam Scott and Hunter Mahan and all that, so I've been doing that and been pretty good with it.テつ I putted pretty well when I went and played for a month.
So putting's always been my struggle, so I committed to trying to improve my putting.テつ I think it's the weakest part of my game and if I can get to where I can be pretty good at the putting, I think I can be pretty successful out here.

Q.テつ When you're out on the golf course and you aren't hitting it like how you want to, how do you manage to still shoot a solid round?
JASON DUFNER:テつ A lot that have, obviously, involves short game.テつ I think that some of the best players in the world have great short games.テつ The guys that are in the Top‑50, they know how to manage to make pars on those par‑5's.テつ Make birdies there.テつ You're not always going to strike it your best, even the Tour players.テつ I would say the majority of our rounds we don't hit it the way we want to, to be honest with you.テつ We know how to stay a wait from the trouble, hit from spots to get balls up‑and‑down.テつ Don't push the envelope trying to hit shots that we can't quite pull off that moment in time.
So there's a couple different factors there, short game, our mental approach, how we approach the game, strategy, and really being confident that you can score well but maybe not have your best stuff.テつ There's a lot of guys that scrape it around here and shoot good scores.テつ Myself included, there will be days where I hit it terrible and can shoot a 4‑ or 5‑under and then the next day I hit it perfect and shoot an even par.テつ So those experiences really help you be confident when you're not hitting your best.

Q.テつ Where did you find the diet?テつ On the Internet a doctor tell you something, your wife?
JASON DUFNER:テつ I talked to a pretty specialized guy in Atlanta, his name is Andrew Johnston, a friend of mine had had some chronic back issues and I got with Andrew in Atlanta and Andrew's kind of a holistic guy, he does the whole thing, diet, PT, working out, he does the holistic approach to your health.
I kind of specified that I was interested in what he had to offer as far as eating better and the diet.テつ My friend Lane Savoy had great results with him changing his diet.テつ With his back he had some really chronic back issues, so I gave it a go and feeling pretty good about it.

Q.テつ What was for breakfast this morning?
JASON DUFNER:テつ This morning for breakfast I had protein shake with water.テつ I had three scrambled eggs.テつ I had some ground buffalo meat with some avocado.テつ And some white rice.

Q.テつ Then you talked about being at tournaments, do you still feel some pain in the shoulder or do you don't want to push yourself too hard, too soon?
JASON DUFNER:テつ I don't want to do too much too some.テつ I haven't had any pain for the most part since I've been back since Christmas.テつ I had a couple days where it gets inflamed and feels a little sticky, but I got a great group of people that are helping me with than an I need to get my golf muscles stronger.テつ I don't have many reps I can't just go out there and hit 300 balls and play 18 holes and expect to feel good the next day and not ‑‑ I'm not at that point.

Q.テつ This may be a chestnut at this point, but for the Dufnering pose, a lot of your colleagues had fun with kind of a faux paunch.テつ That's gone now.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, slowly going away.テつ Not quite gone.

Q.テつ So what pose are you going to do now?
JASON DUFNER:テつ I don't know.テつ I'm not worried about what the pose is.テつ I'm trying to stay away from that stuff.テつ I won't even get to focus on what I do on my life off the course, I need to be more focused on what I'm doing on the course and what I need to do to be successful.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Jason, we appreciate your time and best of luck this week.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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