Defending Nelson champ Dufner still little emotion

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 15, 2013
Jason Dufner outwardly showed little emotion last year when he won the Byron Nelson Championship in the midst of his incredible stretch of golf. The same goes for Dufner when things aren't going as well, such as this season. ''I don't show it, but obviously it's going on inside. I played a lot of rounds this year with frustration and anger on my mind,'' Dufner said Wednesday. ''I've got a good way of hiding the good and the bad. But there has been more anger and frustration this year than there was last year, for sure.'' His victory at the Nelson, after which there was no overwhelming outburst of excitement, capped a four-week span in which Dufner got his first two PGA Tour victories and also got married. He followed that with a runner-up finish at Colonial, a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open and made 21 consecutive cuts to end the season. ''I don't reflect on it very much at all,'' he said. ''Nothing is staying the same in golf. You're either getting better or you're getting worse. At this moment in time, I'm a little bit worse than I was last year.'' Heading into Thursday's opening round of the Nelson, Dufner hasn't had a top-10 finish this season and has already missed two cuts - twice as many as last year. He is coming off his worst round of the season, a closing 80 at The Players Championship with three double bogeys while never hitting a ball in the water. The last person to win consecutive Nelsons was Tom Watson, who won three in a row from 1978-80. The only other back-to-back winners are Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead. A week after The Players, the Nelson field includes only six of the top 25 players in the world ranking, led No. 7 Louis Oosthuizen - who missed the cut last year in his only previous Nelson appearance. ''I would rather come in a bit more in form than coming in top-ranked player (in the field),'' said Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champ who tied for 19th last week but hasn't made consecutive cuts in his seven PGA Tour events this year. Playing on Nelson sponsor exemptions are Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China in his second PGA Tour event since making the cut at the Masters, and 19-year-old Jordan Spieth. Spieth is playing in the Nelson for the third time, this time as a pro who has made six of nine cuts and already won nearly $700,000 this season. As an amateur at the Nelson, he tied for 16th as a 16-year-old in 2010, then played on the same day as his high school graduation two years ago when he tied for 32nd. ''This tournament is dear to my heart, and it gave me a big bump when I was able to get the exemption and take advantage when I was 16 and 17,'' said Spieth, who played one season at the University of Texas before turning pro. ''Now back in a little different position now, not in school anymore, but I could be more excited to be back here. This is my favorite event of the year.'' While Dufner might not reflect on that impressive stretch last season, the TPC Four Seasons conjures good memories and those couple of months did give him a good perspective on his potential level of play. His return to North Texas also could revive the viral sensation of ''Dufnering.'' When Dufner made an appearance two months ago to promote the Nelson, there was a picture tweeted of the sleepy-eyed golfer sitting on the floor and slouched against a wall in a school classroom with kids. Fellow golfers and others mimicked the shot with their own poses posted on Twitter. The hashtag (hash)dufnering emerged, and there are still people posting their own version. ''I was just sitting and somebody decided to take a picture and put it on the Internet. ... The guys on Tour had a go at it with me and then it went viral,'' he said. ''I didn't take it too seriously. Like most things in my life, I don't take things too seriously. But it's been a good response and I think people have had a kick out of it.'' Dufner said it's ''extremely weird'' to him to see people having their dogs and cats ''Dufnering,'' but said the response has been good. He has seen many of the posts, and there is one that stands out. ''One guy did it up in, I think it was a C-130, where they transport tanks for the military. They had the back hatch down and he was sitting on the edge and they were up 20, 30,000 feet in the air,'' he said. ''That was a unique spot to do it.'
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LISTEN: Kevin Harlan saves MNF again by doing play-by-play of two idiots on the field

Jets security guards make best tackles of the night on fan rushing field

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

Report: MLB smashed old revenue record in 2016

Percy Harvin out for season due to migraines

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ducks goalie had embarrassing reason for not playing in relief

Bruce Arians emphatically shoots down retirement rumor

Siemian out of walking boot; Broncos hoping he can play

Report: Harper seeking $400 million, likely to leave Nationals

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting to seek reinstatement

Rams players vent frustrations as losses pile up

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Joakim Noah’s contract is becoming worst deal in NBA

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker