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March 8, 2012

Jason Dufner


JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつ We would like to welcome Jason Dufner, one of the co‑leaders after the first round of the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship.テつ Nice round today, 6‑under 66.テつ Certainly finished well.テつ Maybe some opening comments about the good day for you?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, you know, great way to start this championship.テつ I played pretty good.テつ Pretty solid tee‑to‑green.テつ Had some nice par saves kind of in the middle each nine, which kind of glued the round together and finished off with a nice, easy tap‑in birdie on 9.テつ So a great way to start the tournament and three more days, looking forward to it.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつ You mentioned in one of interviews down in scoring that you've had some better rounds this year; anything that comes to mind in particular?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, I played really good, I think it was the second round in Palm Springs, the Humana.テつ I played really, really solid the first round of Phoenix this year.テつ But with the wind conditions today, it's really tough to get a lot of fairways hit all the greens.テつ You're going to miss some shots, and like I said earlier, fortunate to kind of miss in the right spots and give myself pretty easy par saves.

Q. テつDo you think this course compares at all in Atlanta Athletic Club, just that if you miss it left, it's a problem, some of the distances might be similar, things like that?
JASON DUFNER:テつ You know, I think they are pretty different golf courses.テつ For me, Atlanta Athletic Club is a lot more penal off tee shots; maybe not so much approach shots.テつ But they give you a good bit of room to play on this golf course.
There always seems to be kind of a safe side to miss it so to speak, and like I said earlier, really the only defense of this golf course, and you've seen some really low scores on this golf course is when it's windy like it was today, when you get that 20, 25‑mile‑an‑hour wind.テつ So I think maybe length and you know, bermudagrass greens are common between the two courses.テつ But Atlanta Athletic Club is a lot more penal.

Q.テつ You mentioned the wind is the biggest defense this course has, but it's blowing the same way all week; did that help?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, that definitely helps.テつ You know, I've been here since Monday practicing, played nine Monday, 18 Tuesday, nine more yesterday.テつ So I was able to get comfortable with lines.テつ It's a big adjustment for us as players when you are used to maybe right center fairway aiming when the wind is blowing right‑to‑left and all of a sudden now you have to go 20 yards in the rough.
So the first nine holes or first 18 holes I played, I was kind of struggling with that and missing balls, whichever way the wind might have been.テつ But seemed like yesterday afternoon, I got pretty solid with lines, and like you said, it's pretty helpful that the wind has been going the same way each day that we've been here.

Q.テつ When the wind blows like it does today, do you feel like you get any sort of old home advantage from playing in these conditions as much as you did?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ I think any time you grow up wherever it might be windy conditions, you're going to have a bit of an advantage, because if you want to be competitive as a junior or axe tour, you have to learn how to hit it low and control your ball flight and learn how to work with the wind or against the wind, so you know, I've had some really nice rounds in windy conditions, South Florida, and you know, really helped me out with that growing up down here, so I think that's a bit of an advantage.

Q.テつ Do you think going to Auburn had a part, too?
JASON DUFNER:テつ A little bit, bermudagrass greens pretty prevalent in Auburn.テつ We have a run of nice bermudagrass coming up in the Florida Swing.テつ PGA last year was bermudagrass and I've had some really nice finishes in New Orleans.テつ Generally playing in the south I feel a lot more comfortable.テつ I kind of grew up, high school, went to college in the south.テつ It's definitely a big advantage for me and I always feel comfortable when we go to these types of venues.

Q.テつ Can you just‑‑ as close as you have been of late to winning, do you have to kind of fight the urge to push yourself to get that first victory and remain patient?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ You know, that's a big key to being a successful professional golfer is patience.テつ I don't think people really realize how big of a factor patience plays to playing well, to keep willing your composure and being successful really.
There's a lot of different components of patience that you go through a round.テつ You make a bogey, and you start practicing because you made a bogey; or you've had some nice finishes and you start practicing to get that win.
So I've really been trying to focus on just trying to, like you said, being patient with my game, with how well I'm developing, how better I'm getting, and just realize that this is kind of a process, and I've been doing it now for about 11 years.テつ And I'm probably going to be doing it for about 11 more, so it's kind of a halfway point.
You know, it's just a really, really big component, and I think if you talk to any other player, whether he's a struggling TOUR player that can barely keep his card or a guy that's really successful, the patience level, it seems like when your patience level is really high, you play a lot better golf.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつ Let's go through your scorecard.テつ You started on the back side, seven birdies and one bogey.テつ Your first birdie was on No. 10.
JASON DUFNER:テつ I hit driver, 5‑iron just off the fringe, chipped to about two inches, so that was an easy one.
12, I had to lay up out of the rough and hit a wedge, sand wedge from about 90 yards to about eight feet, made that.
14, I hit a driver and a sand wedge to about eight feet.テつ Made that.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN:テつ Only bogey of the day on No.18.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Tee ball in the water, 3‑wood in the right bunker and then a pretty nice up‑and‑down there for bogey.
1, hit driver, 6‑iron to about 20 feet, 2‑putt.
2, I hit driver, sand wedge to about ten feet.
4, I hit 5‑iron to probably about 25, 27 feet.テつ Made that.
9, I hit 7‑iron to about a foot.テつ A lot easier to finish on 9 than 18.

Q.テつ I don't know if you saw the stats on 18, but they flashed a graphic that at the time, a few golfers ago, it was plus 48 for the day.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, this wind direction I don't believe is very common.テつ I've played it maybe once or twice with kind of a north, northeast wind.テつ That makes it tough and you have it coming off the lake into your face, so that's a really challenging tee ball and even second shot is very, very challenging, because most guys are hitting something like 4‑iron or hybrid.テつ It's just a really, really tough hole.テつ I know most of us would probably like to reverse it and get it downwind where you can be a little bit more aggressive.
You know, even if you hit a good tee shot, you've still got another shot coming up that's just as tough and if you hit a bad shot, you can make a six, seven or eight pretty quick.
I think maybe the wind is going to be the same direction, so that could be a challenge for everybody.テつ You might be seeing the same type of numbers going up each day.

Q.テつ Helps on the par 5s though, right?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Definitely.テつ I was talking to our instructor, Chuck Cook.テつ The tricky thing about this wind is it makes the easy holes, the ones we birdie, like 1,2, we play straight down and those are pretty easy for us into the wind.テつ But it makes 18 and 6 or, you know, some of the other holes that much tougher that are kind of the tougher golf holes on the course.テつ So it makes the easy holes easier for us, but it really makes the tough holes harder coming down the stretch.

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