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May 18, 2012

Jason Dufner


THE MODERATOR:テつ Jason Dufner, thanks for joining us here at the HP Byron Nelson Championship after a very successful round 2, 4‑under 66 today, capped it off in perfect style, birdied three of your last four holes, put you in the top spot headin' into the weekend.テつ A few comments about the round?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Pretty difficult conditions today, wind picked up a good bit from the morning yesterday, so made it premium on putting the ball in the fairway so you could be more aggressive into the greens.
I was kind of around par for the day, trying to stay patient a little bit, maybe get a birdie or two on the last five holes and ended up getting birdie on four of the last five, couple of chip‑ins, which you don't expect, especially the one on 18.テつ That's a difficult position to be over the back of that green to that hole location.
It was a nice way to finish, looking forward to the weekend.テつ Played pretty solid for two days, conditions got tougher, so not as clean as I would like today because of the conditions but was able to grind it out and got fortunate there on the last couple of holes.

Q.テつ Jason, were you aware when you were at the leaderboard there were seven guys tied and were you just trying to get in that group?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Yeah, I saw‑‑ I don't know, maybe the 11th hole or something like that there was a leaderboard, and I saw there was five or six guys tied at 6‑under so nobody was running away with it.テつ The guys this afternoon had a tough go of it.テつ The cut numbers moved quite a bit from where it started in the day and maybe where it was at when the morning wave finished.
Definitely it was tough this afternoon, and I think I was at 3‑under with five holes left.テつ I figured if I could get a birdie or two I would be in a good position for the weekend.テつ Generally speaking this golf course plays tough on the weekend.テつ It was nice to add a couple more than what I was thinking.

Q.テつ (Away from mic.) (Laughter.)
JASON DUFNER:テつ No, that wasn't in the thought process.テつ I was just trying to pick a good spot where I could get it downwind.テつ Anything that was on the green was going to be a makable par putt, if I could control the spin.テつ Pretty lucky for it to go in, but that's part of golf.テつ Sometimes you get those breaks, sometimes you don't.

Q.テつ With the conditions like this, what makes it so difficult?テつ Is it just the wind or a combination‑‑
JASON DUFNER:テつ The wind is pretty tough.テつ It was fairly consistent with how much it was blowin' and what direction it was coming from.テつ But it makes you take some lines off of tees that you might not visually see well.テつ If you want to put the ball in the fairway on 18, you're going to have to start it pretty close to the hazard if not in the hazard, because that wind is moving pretty hard to the right.
Visually it makes it a little tough, 17, 16, both straight into the wind.テつ 16 you're looking to pick one up, but being in the wind not many guys are gettin' there in two.
I think the biggest defense the golf course has is if the wind picks up, it's tougher.テつ You're not going to see 7, 8, 9‑unders on this golf course, even if it's calm, but as a whole, the field, I thought, scored well yesterday.テつ Last year, I think it was windy all four days, and it was a difficult test of golf, you have to be "on" with all aspects of the game.

Q.テつ Jason, was there any point in the last 24 hours or so that you thought, geez, maybe I got the wrong end of the draw here?
JASON DUFNER:テつ You know, that happens.テつ I didn't think of it that way.テつ You don't know how it's going to be until you're out on the golf course.テつ Maybe afterwards you would think something like that.テつ I was out putting this morning about 9:30, 9:45 and it was blowing pretty consistent then, too, so I'm sure the guys this morning had some tough conditions, also.テつ As many bad draws as you get you will get as many good draws over your career, so it's just something that you have to go with.テつ There is not much you can do about what Mother Nature is throwing at you.

Q.テつ Wondering how it feels to have the 36‑hole lead for the 16th time this year or whatever it is.
JASON DUFNER:テつ Feels good.テつ My game has been consistent, yesterday was probably the best ball striking round I've ever had, I putted more than I hit the golf ball, I had 34 putts, I hit the ball33 times, and that doesn't happen very often.テつ I feel good about my game.テつ Usually when you're feeling good you're going to go into the weekend leading or close to the lead, and I've been fortunate to be in that position, closed out one a couple of weeks ago, haven't played quite as well in others, but hopefully the experience that I had New Orleans will build for me and I will have confidence going into the weekend.

Q.テつ Did New Orleans change the mindset of how you feel about this 36‑hole lead compared to the ones previous?テつ Is there a different feeling about it?
JASON DUFNER:テつ Maybe a little bit.テつ I'm confident with my game and happy with where my game is at now.テつ The conditions, if it blows again like this tomorrow afternoon, it's going to be tough.テつ You could play a good round of golf and shoot 73 or 74 on this golf course, and that's going to put you behind in the pack a little bit.
The biggest thing for me is I feel I can control my golf ball.テつ I feel like I can work it in the wind when I need to, work it with the wind if I need to, hit high shots, low shots, so for me right now ball striking is pretty high up there with what I'm doing well, and I think that can help me out a little bit this weekend.

Q.テつ Jason, you hear a lot of "Duf" and "War Eagle."テつ Is that starting to happen more?テつ You have the distinctive preshot routine.テつ How much more are you hearing support from galleries?
JASON DUFNER:テつ It started last year after the PGA, playing in the Atlanta area, and being from the south you got a lot of Auburn fans in the south, Atlanta area especially, and I started getting a following there and continued this year with my good play, and we have had a lot of events in the south since Marchor so and I've been playing well since March, so all of these things have connected together, and I'm getting ton and tons of more fans.
People are recognizing me, even off the golf course, away from the golf course, so it's all been pretty good.テつ It can be a little overwhelming if you're not used to it, so me and Amanda are adjusting to it a little bit, but it's been good.テつ I like the fact that people know and respect my golf game and want to root for me.テつ Amanda made a comment last week usually when you're not playing good they're saying, "Oh, this guy is terrible," and now they were like, "Oh, he's just having a bad day," so I feel like I got a lot of people rooting for me right now.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Jason, thanks for your time.

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