Jason Dufner picked up his first two PGA TOUR wins this year
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jason Dufner has set himself up for a long run in the FedExCup Playoffs with his solid play this season.
So the two-time PGA TOUR champ, who is ranked third in the FedExCup, has decided not to play in the first Playoffs event, The Barclays next week, so he can be rested for the stretch run. The top 125 in the FedExCup standings at the end of this week’s Wyndham Championship are eligible for The Barclays.
Dufner is playing for the third straight week at Sedgefield Country Club. Had he played all four Playoffs events, that would mean six straight weeks of competition and seven in eight weeks.
Dufner also made his first U.S. Ryder Cup team. The matches at Medinah will be played the week after the Playoffs finale, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
“I’ve had a pretty heavy schedule since Firestone or so and I’m looking forward to the second part of the Playoffs,” Dufner said. “I’m just not going to be able to do eight out of nine weeks with the TOUR Championship and Ryder Cup at the end of it.”
Dufner, who shot 67 on Friday at Sedgefield, is playing in the Wyndham Championship for the seventh time this week. He has competed in Greensboro every year he’s been a member of the PGA TOUR and felt strongly about continuing that streak.
“I’ve always supported this event and I’ve got a good relationship with the people at Wyndham,” Dufner said. “So I feel like I need to come here and play … and I’m just not going to be able to fit in The Barclays this year.”
Dufner is the only player in the field at the Wyndham Championship who can overtake Tiger Woods as No. 1 in the FedExCup. He’ll start the third round at 5 under, seven strokes off the pace being set by Jimmy Walker.
“(I’m) hanging around,” Dufner said. “A couple of bogeys here and there — wish i could get those back. … Just need to get some rest. I am a little fatigued, as I said, and I’m just looking forward to playing two more days here in Greensboro.”
Dufner knows he will go deep into the Playoffs. But he also knows there can be a lot of volatility as the Playoffs progress.
“I’m fortunate that with my play this year I’m in pretty good position with the FedExCup,” Dufner said. “.. But anything can change with those Playoff events. It kind of flip-flops around. We saw last year with Bill (Haas) — he played really well at the end and kind of snuck in and won the thing. So if you’re in that last event you’ve got a chance to win it.”