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October 14, 2004

Jason Dufner


CHRIS REIMER: We're joined by Jason Dufner, 7-under par today. Sitting alone atop the leaderboard right now. That's got to feel pretty good.

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, it was a good day today. I played consistent. I had some good look at birdies and never was really in trouble as far as making bogeys. So it was a solid round today.

CHRIS REIMER: Take some questions.

Q. Did you see a lot of the minus 6's as you were going through the round?

JASON DUFNER: No, I don't really worry about it. It's the first day. I don't know how I would feel if it was Sunday, but it's the first day, you know. And you could shoot 2-under today and still be in the tournament. There's still some rounds to come. So I was just trying to focus on hitting fairways and greens.

Q. You said out there you've kind of been inconsistent this year, what's been the problems?

JASON DUFNER: Well, probably the biggest problem has been putting. Really struggled with my putter all year. Consistently. And it's hard to score low when you're having 32, 33, 34 putts out here. Even today I didn't putt great, I just made the things I needed to make. So more or less ball striking is what got me through shooting 65 today.

Q. There weren't a lot of people following you, does that make it easier, harder?

JASON DUFNER: Doesn't matter. I'm trying to focus on my targets. Trying to focus on what I'm doing, I don't have time to worry about what is going on around me, get distracted, lose a couple shots here and there.

Q. You could use a couple good results here coming up?

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, a really good result.

Q. So what -- this puts you in position, right?

JASON DUFNER: Right. Like I said, a good start to the week. Got three more days. And to be honest with you I don't really have anything to lose. Doesn't matter if I finish 20th or 8th or 10th or anything like that. I need Top 5s or better to get into, to secure my card for next year. So I really don't have a thing to lose and so be it. If it works out and I end up playing well and into contention, with a chance to win, then I'll feel pretty good.

Q. Have you been here before as far as this kind of leading a golf tournament after one day?

JASON DUFNER: Not out here on the TOUR. I've played Nationwide for three years. And I had some good success out there. I won an event out there. I have had opportunities to win, so it's pretty close to the same thing as far as what you're doing, but obviously the stage is a little bit bigger out here.

Q. You had 65 last week where conditions were even better than here and end up missing the cut. I guess this week it's a little better, so you feel better about making the cut?

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, last week I played the first two rounds I think I was in 8th place and got an awful draw for Saturday, it was blowing 35 miles an hour in the afternoon. Didn't play that bad and ended up shooting four over and missed the cut. I got a bad draw. I think the way I'm playing now, I had the three out of four rounds with no bogeys, if I take that round out, if I played in the morning, who knows what could have happened. It was just kind of a tough draw, but that happens sometimes.

Q. It said in the book you didn't play golf until you were 15?

JASON DUFNER: Probably about 13. I didn't -- I played baseball growing up. And just kind of started playing golf started high school seriously competitively.

Q. Obviously you've had a rough year, missed the cut I think in 8 straight tournaments, have you made any changes or just anything coming together right now?

JASON DUFNER: No changes really, just trying to work on the same things I've been working on from even last year. Trying to get better in all areas of the game. You have things you work on each week. It's been a tough year. I missed nine or 10 cuts by one shot or two shots, I think. So I haven't played that bad for the year, it just hasn't been working out. So nothing's really changed.

Q. What have you found as a rookie on this TOUR, what do you find the hardest thing?

JASON DUFNER: Probably the setup of the golf courses. Just a little bit more difficult than the Nationwide Tour. And then the fields are a little bit deeper. Nationwide you run into where you got 80, 90 guys who can really you have to worry about. Out here, in my case as an example, I'm 186 on the Money List and I'm leading the tournament after one round. So I think the fields are a little bit deeper. And the top players are a lot better.

Q. Did you see what Andre did last week? What was your reaction to that?

JASON DUFNER: I was happy for him. I played practice rounds with him. Played Nationwide with him over the last year. It just goes to show you that anything is possible. A guy's probably I don't know what his situation is, but looking at the results he's had an awful year and then all of a sudden one good week, things happen, situations turn around and then all of a sudden now he's won, he's pretty much set forth next two years as far as where he's playing and financially and everything, so it was good to see that, that that's possible.

Q. That give you any motivation? Do you take any motivation from what he did?

JASON DUFNER: Not really, I try to stay motivated no matter what everybody is doing. I've got some goals that I want to achieve. I haven't achieved any of them this year, so that's my motivation. I just want to try to get better each week.

Q. One more time recap what you did well and what you finally did well today?

JASON DUFNER: Just I drove it really well and hit a lot of greens. Never was in, I was in trouble on one hole, I think it was six was the only green I missed. I was able to get up-and-down for par. And then everything else was birdie chances, you know, probably you know side 30 feet. So it was just really an easy 65 today. A couple five, six footers and made a long one on the 4th hole that it was just consistent. I was never in trouble, I was relaxed. I never felt like I needed to hit a miracle shot to make par or something like that.

Q. Was it a good feeling, were you in that zone today?

JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I was relaxed and I felt like I was trusting my game. I was trusting what I was doing out there. And the results were pretty good.

Q. How far were you on 17?

JASON DUFNER: I think I had a 235 to the pin and hit 5-wood to about five feet. Six feet. Something like that. It was a pretty good putt because the green was really chewed up right around the hole. I don't know what, playing this late you kind of get that sometimes.

Q. Did you realize you were in the lead?

JASON DUFNER: I had saw the board on maybe the hole before, saw that guys were at 6 and I think that was the first or second time I looked at that time for the day. But I just, it was just another birdie to me. I was just trying to keep going. Keep the momentum going with what I had.

CHRIS REIMER: Let's go through your club selections here on your birdies. Start with 3, I guess.

JASON DUFNER: 3, I hit driver, 7-iron. Hit it to 50, 60 feet. Made it.

5, I hit 3-wood, sand wedge, to about two feet.

9, I hit driver, 3-wood, to about 50 feet. 3-putted. Made about a five-footer.

12, I hit a 6-iron about three feet. Birdie.

13, I hit 3-wood, 5-wood, chipped up to about six feet. Birdie.

The next par-5, I hit driver, 5-wood, over I have 5-wood over the back. Chipped up to about five, six feet.

CHRIS REIMER: Hit a 5-wood on 17 to about five feet.


CHRIS REIMER: All right. Good luck the rest of the way.

JASON DUFNER: Appreciate it. Thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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