Jason Dufner on being a late-bloomer on Tour and making his first Ryder Cup team

Jason Dufner has rocketed to No. 7 in the world and earned a spot on his first Ryder Cup team.
Kendrick Brinson / Luceo

nada?

Are you really as laid back as you appear?


You've said you're very anti-clutter.


How much do you suppose your calm aura will help you in your first Ryder Cup?


Have any veterans told you what to expect?


You've said that you're fascinated by excellence, and the fine line that separates who makes it and who doesn't. What's been the difference for you?

Just being really consistent in how I practice, how I prepare, every week. I always want to feel like I'm working on the things I've worked on with Chuck [Cook, Dufner's instructor]. Sometimes I might work for a couple hours, sometimes I might only work for 30 minutes. Like one goal might be keeping my left arm tight to my body as I come through on my downswing. If I feel like after 30 minutes that was really good, and that was my goal for the day, then I'm done for the day.



Why the breakout in 2011 and '12?


Do you feel you should have won more?


You spoke with Lee Trevino before this year's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.


You don't look like a gym rat. Would you be at a disadvantage if you faced a more svelte player like Dustin Johnson late in a hot tournament?


Any plans to quit the fried mozzarella sticks?


What's your birthday meal?


What about your tobacco habit? Are you still a Copenhagen man?


You've said that being an underdog fuels you, but with two wins, aren't you now a favorite?

You can use different things that happen to you, or what people say or don't say, to motivate you. It's just little things, like being first on the money list and first on the [FedEx Cup] points list, and not getting any interview requests at the U.S. Open. That's motivating material right there. You know, that made me feel like an underdog; I didn't feel like I was getting any respect that week.



Not one interview?

Not even on Sunday, when I finished fourth, two shots out of the lead. I was playing with [amateur] Beau Hossler.



So the quietest fourth-place finish ever. Perhaps that's what Auburn alum Bo Jackson means when he says you need to smile more.

Probably. You know, sell it a bit. I don't feel like I'm media unfriendly, but I am who I am. It might be boring to you, it might not be this grand story I can tell, but I'm not going to come up with a bunch of B.S. for everyone. I'm really close to Amanda, I work really hard at golf -- I don't have this extravagant story. I didn't work in a chemical plant and fight orangutans like Boo Weekley, or these [other] people that the media gravitates toward. I don't have a superstar draw like Tiger Woods.



Do you think the Tour is sometimes just a bunch of B.S.?

[

Laughs Well, I hit the fairway, hit the green, and then I hit the putt.

There's a lot of white space.


You're trying to do a bit more media.


At least you're big here in Auburn.


After losing the 2011 PGA Championship to Keegan Bradley, you received a motivational text from your Auburn buddy Charles Barkley, right?


Do you text with Bo Jackson, too?


You're an avid reader. What are you reading at the moment?
An American Life

What's been your favorite non-golf book?

I can't remember the name of it, but there's a small paperback book that deals with how you train mentally and get better at training your mind. There were field tests on groups that train mentally and physically with the Russian weight-lifting team. It gives you a lot of techniques you can use mentally, like visualization. It's almost like watching yourself play on television. I visualized my pre-shot routine, my ball flight, the whole picture of what was going to happen before I did it. The more detailed [your visualization], the higher your success rate of execution.



If you had to save three items from your burning home . . .

My iPhone, because my friends say I'm always on it, checking stocks -- I have about 20 stocks and funds that I like to follw -- or texting friends or reading about sports. I'll have to bring the 2012 [Dodge] Challenger I just built with some people in Texas. And I've got a signed picture of Ben Hogan that my wife got for me for a wedding present.



As a kid you were a standard-bearer at the Honda Classic. What was that like?



That was your first experience with Vijay Singh.


It seems like you took that to heart as a pure walk-on at Auburn.


And now you're pals. How much do you and Vijay play for during practice rounds?


How long do you want to be out on Tour?


Just five more years? You were going broke when playing the mini-tours and living in South Florida. Why would you chuck it all away when you took so long to get to this level?


But Vijay was just getting started at 40.


More From the Web

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN