Dufner is having a breakthrough year in 2012, winning his first career event at the Zurich Classic not too long ago along with seven top 25 finishes in eleven cuts made on the year. It was really a tale of two rounds for Dufner at the HP Byron Nelson Championship to begin the event. He shot a three under 67 on Thursday and was practically flawless with his long game, hitting over 90% of both the fairways and greens in regulation. However, he couldn't really get anything to go in with the putter and had 34 total putts on the day.
On Friday, Dufner hit significantly less fairways and greens in regulation but was on with the putter, making seven total birdies for the day to go with 26 putts. Jason's only real weakness this year has been his putter, so it will be the key area of his game to Saturday. If he continue to make putts he could certainly distance himself from the rest of the pack, but if he does something similar to Thursday it could be a jumbled leaderboard heading into Sunday.
Matt Kuchar followed up a great round of four under 66 for his first round, and continued the pace with a 68 on Friday. He got off to a hot start on the day with four birdies over his first seven holes, but had a disappointing back nine that included two bogeys and a double bogey over a four hole stretch. I still think he has a great chance to win this week, but will have to be more consistent heading into the weekend if he wants to do so.
One of the biggest surprises in the HP Byron Nelson Championship thus far has been the play of Harrington, who followed up a 68 with a 69 on Friday to put himself four shots out of the lead. It is surprising because Harrington has had poor run of starts heading into this event, with two missed cuts at the RBC Heritage and Players Championship. His putter has saved him on many different occasions this week and ranks tied for fifth in putts per green in regulation, but his long game still has a ways to go before he can get back to winning majors once again.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @RyanKekoufski
- Sports & Recreation
- Jason Dufner
- HP Byron Nelson Championship