Interview - Friday, January 22, 2016
DOUG MILNE: We'll jump right in and get started, Jason, thanks for joining us after round two of the CareerBuilder Challenge. 64, 65, 15-under heading into the weekend. You got to be pleased with how things are off to the start for you.
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, played some good golf the last couple days, good position. Got one more day, a different golf course, tomorrow. And then we'll be done with the rotation and head over to the PGA West for the weekend. So, looking forward to the next two days. Excited to be playing really good golf right now.
DOUG MILNE: You touched on it out there, your confidence is obviously apparent coming off top-10 finishes. Is that a new level of confidence or is it a comfort level with you? You don't have much of a history here on these two courses, but obviously riding the wave of confidence.
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I think just playing better golf. Any time you're shooting sub 70 scores, no matter where you're playing, you should be pretty confident. I've been doing that a lot, especially since Malaysia, I started back up in Vegas, in October, and have been really working hard on my golf game and on my physical side of it, trying to stay healthy. And the mental side of it. So I feel good, I'm confident, I feel like I'm playing some really good golf and not too concerned about how comes or results right now, I'm just focused on what I can do to play each shot the best I can.
DOUG MILNE: Questions?
Q. Jason, you're supposed to be afraid of that golf course over there. Isn't that the corporate line this week?
JASON DUFNER: That's what they tried to trick you into thinking. It's a difficult golf course. There's a little bit of room to play off the tee, in my opinion, but if you get off the path a little bit, you can get into some trouble. He's got some water out there, he's got some tricky bunkers, you get some uneven lies here and there. The greens kind are difficult. They run on some angles and there's some slope. So it's definitely the most difficult of the courses we have played here in the desert area. But today it just was one of those days, I got off to a really hot start, and I played okay on the back nine.
Q. Looked like you just had the one kind of uneven lie on 16 was it?
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, 16, I thought I hit a good drive there. That's one of the drives I felt like I really committed to and hit really good on my line. I'm not sure what happened, if it didn't quite carry far enough or had a couple bad hops to the left and it was in one of those situations where I barely have a stance, could only advance it a hundred yards. So I was a little disappointed with that, I thought I would have a good go at that green in two and maybe get another birdie or possibly even an eagle and walked away with a five, but no damage done.
Q. You had an awful lot of short irons and wedges and then you pretty much took advantage of every one of them, except the one on 10, I guess.
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, any time I'm inside of 130 yards I feel pretty good. Today I had some really good numbers with my wedges, which helps. I wasn't in between on too many of them. I could go head and hit a full sand wedge or a full gap wedge a couple times. 10, for whatever reason, I never got comfortable with that shot and ended up just really laying the sod over it, to be honest, probably the one shot today I wish I could have back. But I like to try and be aggressive. Usually I'm a good driver of the golf ball, I hit a lot of fairways, I like to push it up there and get shorter clubs because, generally speaking, you hit it closer.
Q. Did you go in thinking that you would lay up on all the par-5s or is that just the way it worked out?
JASON DUFNER: No, that's just the way it worked out. I had hit poor tee shots, on 4 I was in the bunker, no chance to go for it. 8, I hit a really bad one. Another lay up. 11, I hit a bad one. Another lay up. Then 16, I was in the distance where I could have gone for it, but I had no stance. So, more of a reflection of the tee balls than strategy. 16's probably pretty gettable and so is 8. Maybe the other two are a little bit of a stretch for the week for most of us. So, hopefully get some balls in the fairways and give them a go.
Q. You say you're just concentrating on playing good golf, and yet here you are in the lead going halfway through the tournament. Will you just push that out of your mind completely at La Quinta tomorrow?
JASON DUFNER: No, I'm going to keep doing the same thing. Why would I change?
Q. I mean concern about --
JASON DUFNER: No, I'm not concerned about anything. Nope. I'm not concerned about a single thing out there.
Q. 2000 Q-School experience help you here?
JASON DUFNER: Yeah, I played -- that's the last time I was here. I was pretty down on where I was at golfwise, I was struggling to stay out here. I remember working really hard for about two months from the end of the season before we came out here. Spent about, I probably played each four or five times before that QSchool started. I played unbelievable. I think I shot 24- or 25-under for the six rounds. And to be honest with you, this is kind of where everything started for me, because then 2009 I had a really nice season, that's kind of when I started playing some good golf. So it does bring back some good memories, I know playing that Stadium Course is really nerve wracking with QSchool, because you're so concerned about any disaster at Q-School could be the difference. Out here you get a little bit more room to play with and can still have a good finish, even if you have a bogey or double. But at Q-School, if you don't make it, you got a whole different season ahead of you. So I remember playing the courses and I remember a lot of the shots and how the course played, so it's been nice to be over here.
DOUG MILNE: And there's the lead to your story.
Q. Did you get much practice before this week?
JASON DUFNER: I came out the week at Maui when the guys were in Maui, I played each course twice, we practiced one day. I think I was here Tuesday through Saturday. So I played enough golf and I played nine holes over on the Stadium on the back nine earlier this week. And that was about it.
Q. You're a veteran on these courses.
JASON DUFNER: Pretty much, pretty much.
DOUG MILNE: All right, Jason, thank you for your time.