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January 10, 2019

Jason Dufner

Honolulu, Hawaii

Q. Jason, talk about today. Pleased with the round? Maybe knocking some of the rust off?
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, played well. Front nine was really good. Nice way to start the new year.

Back nine was a little bit tougher, I think. Bogeyed 16. Had a good look on 17. Was in good position to make birdie on 18; didn't get it done.

I'll take 4-under. I think the course is playing a little bit tougher this year, a little bit firmer, a little bit faster, so it will be a good week.

Q. Andrew Putnam went out and shot 62; your 4-under round was pretty good. So the course was a little tougher today than you expected?
JASON DUFNER: You know, we usually come here and it's a pretty good birdiefest. I felt like for a Thursday it was a little bit firmer, especially receiving the balls from the fairways. If you're in the rough, you got your hands full trying to get it to stay on the greens.

I think it will play a shot tougher maybe every day. This is kind of what we see on maybe Sunday. It's Thursday, so we'll see how the weather does and dictate how the course plays.

Q. You took some time off like everybody. How is the game right now?
JASON DUFNER: Seems like it's pretty good. I shot 6-under today; we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Q. I know this is a little bit different year, but is it easier since you've done it so many times in the past, coming from Maui to here because you get that extra start in?
JASON DUFNER: I don't know. Maui kind of beats you up as a player, to be honest with you. Seems like a really easy and fun week for us, but it's a tough walk. Usually you're dealing with some really tough conditions wind-wise, and the golf course has some funky elevation changes.

Usually at the end of the week of Maui I'm pretty beat up and tired. Obviously you love playing there because it meant you won the year before and it's a great way to start the year. You get some free points and some free money.

Either way I'm fine. I'll always play this event. I think it's a great fit for me.

Q. How many times you putt with the flag stick?
JASON DUFNER: Two or three today. I did some stuff with it at home. To be honest with you, I didn't see anything that dictated that it would be bad for me. Actually helped me more than anything.

Probably haven't done it as much as maybe somebody like Bryson. There are certain situations you can use it to your advantage. Obviously it's a little bit weird putting with the flag stick in. You're so conditioned to seeing the hole and not having the flag stick in, so that's a little awkward. I think outside of like six, eight feet, there are definitely opportunities to use it to your advantage.

Q. Everyone has been talking about your new sponsorship. How did that come about?
JASON DUFNER: That's on my agent. He works pretty hard. I just say yes or no.

Q. Was that one easy or hard to say yes to?
JASON DUFNER: No, it was pretty easy. They're kind of a new company. Had a lot of growth over the last three or four years. They were on Shark Tank. Cuban invested in them, so it can't be a bad thing. They had a little money they wanted it throw my way, and worked out good for them today with a good round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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