Little-known American Jason Dufner made it to the headlines after a five-stroke lead with only three holes to play at the US PGA Championship only to lose in the playoff. He is however back to the Tour’s normalcy at this week’s Wyndham Championship.
“Maybe some guys would feel like it was a tragedy, but I don’t really look at it that way,” Dufner said, referring to his defeat by Keegan Bradley.
“I’m disappointed with not being able to finish that tournament off with a ‘W’ (win), but I’m a professional golfer and I’m going to continue to be a professional golfer.
“There are many more events to play in on this Tour, on any tour. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve been a golfer for 10 years, and I’m going to continue to be a golfer.”
Dufner debuted on the circuit in 2001 but has yet to win a US PGA Tour title. However, he prefers to dwell on last week’s positives as he prepares for the opening round at Sedgefield Country Club Thursday.
“I’m in good shape as far as the game of golf goes,” said the lank-haired American, whose career highlights include two wins on the second-tier Nationwide Tour.
“I’m pretty confident with my golf game right now after last week and I’m pretty comfortable on this golf course so I think it’ll be a good stepping-stone for me.”
A strong field is expected in the event this week because it is the regular season’s last stop before the end-of-season finale of the PGA Tour next week.
Several big names are however expected to be included in the top 135 players who will qualify for the first four playoffs of the FedExCup at the Barclays Classic on August 25 to 28. These are Ernie Els, Angel Cabrera, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods. Only Cabrera, Casey, Els and Harrington are competing this week.
“The goal is to focus on getting myself in contention, focus on trying to win this tournament and that will easily look after the FedExCup,” Three-time major champion Harrington said Wednesday.
“Obviously the FedExCup comes into my mind if I am struggling to make the cut or I just make the cut and I need a decent weekend. But if I play well and get some good scores in the bag, it’s not going to be an issue at all.”
Harrington initially planned to take a holiday in the Bahamas with his family but his wife Caroline decided he should compete so they cancelled that plan.
“It wasn’t a decision I was going to make and tell the family we’re not going,” Harrington said. “But it was a decision my wife was happy to make on my behalf and say, ‘I think you should get up there and qualify’.
“We only had to tell the seven-year-old we were changing the plans. For the three-year-old, one swimming pool is the same as the next to him,” Harrington added with a broad grin.