AVONDALE, La. – TPC Louisiana may prove the ideal venue to stir Jason Dufner out of his season-long malaise.
With four consecutive top-10s here, including last year’s playoff victory, Dufner got off to a decent start again at the Zurich Classic, opening with a 2-under 70 in cool and breezy conditions Thursday. He is six shots off the early lead, held by Ricky Barnes.
Dufner, a two-time winner in 2012, hasn’t cracked the top 10 in 2013 and ranks 133rd in strokes gained-putting this season.
But he’s back in New Orleans, which can only help. He’s the all-time leading money winner at this event ($1,877,187), and since 2009 he’s finished T-9, T-7, T-3 and, of course, won last year over Ernie Els.
“I feel good with my game,” he said. “I never feel I’m too far away from playing really well. I had to figure out how to get a bad round out of the four that I’ve been having so far. But I’m not too far off. I just wanted to get around the course today without really doing any damage and try to get under par.”