Golf

Colonial challenging enough to keep Jason Dufner’s attention

Lazy Day With Jason Dufner

Tuesday's are usually the lazy day on the PGA Tour. But there's little laziness going on at the practice range, where pros and caddies are looking to fine tune games going into Thursday's opening round. Jason Dufner spent time on the Trackman prod
Up Next
Tuesday's are usually the lazy day on the PGA Tour. But there's little laziness going on at the practice range, where pros and caddies are looking to fine tune games going into Thursday's opening round. Jason Dufner spent time on the Trackman prod

Colonial Country Club is not a spot where Jason Dufner will be “dufnering” anytime soon.

The golfer known for his laid-back approach, something that went viral when he slouched up against an elementary school wall during a charity event a few years back, admitted that this course has his undivided attention from start to finish.

It’s a nice, classic golf course where you usually have to hit it in the fairways, have some different shots.

Jason Dufner on the challenging Colonial layout

That’s part of the reason for his success, Dufner said, that includes two runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2014.

“It’s a nice, classic golf course where you usually have to hit it in the fairways, have some different shots,” said Dufner, who won the 2013 PGA Championship.

“It kind of keeps me interested, to be honest with you. It’s not your typical modern bomb-it-and-see-where-you-end-up golf course. You have to hit some different shots and curve the ball different ways to play. So it’s been a good fit.”

Dufner, 39, opened the Dean & DeLuca Invitational with an impressive 4-under 66 on Thursday and is among four players tied for fifth.

It’s a very good golf course. A couple holes if the wind blows like today are a bit unfair because they’re just so challenging to hold the fairway.

Jordan Spieth on the Colonial layout

Dufner isn’t alone in appreciating the thinking aspect of Colonial’s layout. Local favorite Jordan Spieth, the top-ranked player in the field, echoed those thoughts following his 3-under 67.

Spieth, the top-ranked player in the field, is happy with how he started the Dean & DeLuca Invitational on Thursday. Video by Drew Davison.

“It’s a very good golf course,” Spieth said. “A couple holes if the wind blows like today are a bit unfair because they’re just so challenging to hold the fairway. They predict this kind of weather all the time, but it made it a fun challenge. I felt like anything under par this afternoon was a good, solid round of golf.”

Dufner acknowledged that he benefited by being part of the early-morning wave. Winds were heavy during his first couple of holes, but had subsided following a 91-minute weather delay.

“We got a break with that front kind of passing through and things laid down,” Dufner said. “Then the last couple of holes they picked up, so I’m happy with a 4 under.”

Jason Dufner has made 14 of 17 cuts, posting three top-10 finishes and one win. He tied for 24th at the AT&T Byron Nelson last week.

Dufner took advantage of the favorable conditions, rolling in five birdies with only one bogey. His lone bogey came on No. 3 to start the “Horrible Horseshoe,” as he drove into a fairway bunker and three-putted from about 40 feet.

This early showing continues what has been a solid season for Dufner. He has made 14 of 17 cuts, posting three top-10 finishes and one win. He tied for 24th at the AT&T Byron Nelson last week.

“I’ve been playing pretty good for the year. Today wasn’t my best stuff, but I did score pretty well,” Dufner said. “That’s kind of what you’ve got to do out here, so that kind of makes me excited for the next couple days because I know that I can hit it a little better. Maybe my bad day of ball-striking is gone and we can have three good ones going forward.”

Dufner has played well at Colonial, particularly in even-numbered years. He finished second in 2012, a stroke behind winner Zach Johnson. Then he finished second again in 2014, losing in a playoff to Adam Scott.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself, but I feel like I’ve been playing some pretty good golf,” Dufner said.

Webb Simpson fired a 65 in windy afternoon conditions Thursday at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, leaving him one stroke off the lead. Video by Jimmy Burch

Timelapse video shows the construction of Prince Street Marketplace, the replica grocery store debuting at this year's Dean & DeLuca Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth. The chain plans to open retail outlets in DFW soon.

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments