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In The Swing: Victory a fitting reward for Dufner

He may be in just his second season as a pro, but on the right course, Jason Dufner is already looking like a model of consistency.

Image: Gerald Herbert/AP/Press Association Images

JASON DUFNER HAS been knocking on the door on a regular basis since he lost out to Keegan Bradley in a playoff for the PGA Championship last year.

It was a case of third time lucky for Dufner in playoffs – he also lost out to Marc Wilson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last year – and the victory marks his reaching a new level in the game after an impressive rookie season in 2011.

Dufner’s form since the PGA Championship, and particularly this season, has been one of the most consistent on Tour. The American has finished has made 10 cuts in 11 starts, including three top-10sand now a victory.

For many, however, this will not come as a surprise. His ball striking ability was most evident in the PGA Championship last year. It was the first time that many casual golf fans would have seen Dufner in any great detail and he put on a display of striking that would rival any of the top players in the game.

He also has quite a unique mental approach to the game. He often seems nonplussed about his shots and goes about his business in a sort of nonchalant manner. His bad shots don’t seem to phase him too much.

He has also had to really learn and earn his first win and this will stand to him in the future. He has clearly learned from being in contention before and this has allowed him to finally get that W. There are very few players out there who come on tour and start winning immediately and the fact that he has managed to get their after a few near misses shows that he is resilient and determined.

In his short career, he has already shown signs of being a player who plays particularly well on certain courses. His second place finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last year, forexample, was followed this year by an 8th place finish at the same venue. His victory on Sunday was built on a third place finished at the Zurich Classic in 2011.

Gerald Herbert/AP/Press Association Images

Admittedly it’s a very small sample on which to judge over a very short space of time, but some golfers can often just take a liking to a particular course and TPC Louisiana is obviously a coursewhere Dufner gets a good vibe.

He will encounter another test of that theory the The Players Championship in two weeks. He finished sixth there last year in his first appearance at Sawgrass and is clearly showing the form that suggests he has every chance of succeed there again.

Before we get to The Players, however, there’s the rather large matter of the Wells Fargo Champshionship at Quail Hollow. Lucas Glover defends, but it is a tournament remembered most in our minds as the scene of Rory McIlroy’s first PGA Tour victory.

Toe to toe

If McIlroy is like Dufner and tends to play well on the same courses, the there would be no better place for him to register his second victory of the season.

He won’t have it easy though, as this tournament will reacquaint some of the big boys for the first time since the Masters.

The aforementioned McIlroy makes his first appearance since Augusta, as do Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Lee Westwood is also back in the USA after his win in Asia and will tee it up. The likes of Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, to name but a few, are missing, but it still makes for a prettymouth-watering prospect.

At the Zurich Classic on Sunday, he was in yet another playoff, going toe-to-toe with Ernie Els over extra holes, but this time he closed it out to seal his very first PGA Tour victory.

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