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September 7, 2009

Jason Dufner


MARK WILLIAMS: Jason, thanks for joining us. Runner-up, looked like it was going to be a playoff there, and obviously some disappointment, but your best finish on TOUR. It looked like a Jekyll and Hyde front nine and back nine, jumped from 57th to 9th in the FedExCup standings. Talk about your day and what you're looking forward to.
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, definitely today was a good day. The whole week was a good week. A little disappointing to not get in a playoff, but Steve did what he had to do to win the tournament. You know, the week was pretty solid. It seemed like I played the front nine a little bit better than the back. That's about it.
MARK WILLIAMS: What were your thoughts when you were on the range there waiting for what was going to happen?
JASON DUFNER: I was just hoping to get a chance. I posted a pretty good number. 18, pretty easy hole, birdieable hole, so you figure he'd probably get to at least 16, and I didn't see what happened, but I guess I hit a pretty good shot on 17 for birdie. So a little disappointed.
But to finish 2nd is pretty good for anybody, for me. I'm excited going into the Playoffs, and to move up to 9th is great. At the beginning of the year one of my goals was to finish Top 30 for TOUR Championship, so that's slowly becoming a reality after next week.

Q. Two questions: First, how many times have you been brought into the media interview room this year? And second, a lot of big names up near the leaderboard going into today. Did you kind of feel like you could maybe slide under the radar and kind of quietly work your way up?
JASON DUFNER: I've been in the media room a good bit this year. I've got a good bit of Top 10s. I was leading in Canada after three rounds. I'm getting a little bit more comfortable with it.
As far as sliding into contention, being that I guess I was close to an hour off before the last group or maybe a little less, I felt like if I could go out and post a good number, 6-, 7-, 8-under, I'd be right there to give some guys something to shoot at. That's kind of what happened.
They were really bunched up toward the top to start the day. I'm not sure how it all played out. But there was a ton of guys with a ton of chances to win this week for sure.

Q. You had almost an hour. What were you doing while you were waiting to find out if there was going to be a playoff?
JASON DUFNER: I went to the range and just kind of loosened up a little bit and maybe focused on some shots I might have to hit on 18 in the playoff and 17 in the playoff, just kind of kept it low key and was just kind of waiting to see how guys finished up.

Q. This certainly is the best finish you've had this year, isn't it? Being 2nd in the Canadian Open is hardly the same as being 2nd against these guys. I mean, do you feel you've really kind of moved up?
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I think so. I think this whole year has been a big steppingstone for me, not just this event. This week was great, but this year has been a been a big step for me professionally as far as a golfer goes. If you look at my history, I've really struggled out here to even maintain my card, and now to be 9th in the points, that's a huge step for the whole year. The way the Playoffs are set up this year, if you have a great week any given week, you can move up into that TOUR Championship.
The whole year has been great, and this is just another step that's been great. I'm really looking forward to trying to win one of these tournaments.
MARK WILLIAMS: What do you think the difference is this year that makes it so different from previous years?
JASON DUFNER: I think just being out here. This is my fourth year now, just getting more comfortable and learning that I can compete at this level, and learning to be comfortable in the environment that we're in. You don't get to play in front of this many people anywhere else in the world really. It's a comfort factor for sure. Once you start having some good finishes and good rounds, it's kind of a confidence thing. You start believing in yourself a little bit more and your game.

Q. Just curious how much scoreboard watching you did maybe on the back nine. Did you know where you were, and how did you handle your nerves coming down the stretch?
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I think I saw a scoreboard maybe on the 6th hole or maybe it was 7 and saw that I was -- after my fast start that I was right up there around the lead.
And then I really didn't catch one until I got to 15, and then I still realized that I think I was tied for 1st. I knew coming down those last three holes that I was going to be right in contention. I hit pretty good shots. I hit a really good shot on 16 that just kind of caught the back end of that little knob there and went over the green. I had 13 feet on 17 and hit 18 in two.
As far as being nervous or anything like that, I didn't feel like I was nervous, just kind of in the moment of what I was doing.
MARK WILLIAMS: Jason, thanks for coming in. All the best next week.

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