After squeaking into weekend, Dufner makes most of opportunity
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- The heartbreaking playoff loss to Keegan Bradley in last year's PGA Championship is so far in the rea-rview mirror that Jason Dufner only thinks about it when someone else mentions it. Success can bury even the most painful memories. The ability to bounce back from disappointment without changing gears or expressions also helps.
"I had a pretty good day today,'' said Dufner, after taking advantage of softer, calmer conditions at the Ocean Course with a four-under 68 on Saturday that led the morning wave. "(I made) a couple of mistakes which I wish I had back but much better today than yesterday.''
Dufner got the worst of the conditions Friday afternoon when the wind gusted up to 38 mph and golf balls were bouncing around like those in a lottery drawing. He shot 76 and made the six-over cut on the number.
One of the best ball strikers on tour, Dufner said the keys to taming windy conditions are creativity and control.
"You've got to be able to shape shots,'' he said. "You don't want to be riding the wind too much out here because the ball will just go forever off line or weird numbers or weird distances. You gotta really get comfortable working the ball into the wind and trying to use it as your friend. And kind of banking shots into it so you can get a little bit better control.''
At two-over 218 through 54 holes, Dufner made up some early ground. Is it enough to trigger a final-round rally from a guy used to the underdog role? Depends on the wind.