Dufner may skip playoffs to mend bulging discs


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Slowed by a bulging disc in his neck since the Masters, last year’s PGA Championship winner said on Wednesday at Valhalla Golf Club that he may skip the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Dufner has been told by doctors that he needs six to eight weeks of rest and rehabilitation to mend the bulging disc. At ninth on the U.S. Ryder Cup point list, if he were to maintain that position through Sunday’s final round and qualify for the team he said skipping the post-season might be the best option.

“I wouldn't feel uncomfortable to be honest with you; (U.S. captain Tom) Watson may feel uncomfortable, but I would not feel uncomfortable taking the playoffs off if I needed to, and coming in, trying to be healthy and participate in the Ryder Cup,” said Dufner, who limited his practice this week to a single nine-hole practice round on Wednesday afternoon.

Dufner said he had an epidural on July 28 and has been taking anti-inflammatories to help manage the pain and that the numbness he experienced in his left hand during the U.S. Open has gone away.

Still, he figures this will be his final chance to make the U.S. team that will travel to Scotland in September.

“I seriously doubt I would be a captain's selection with an injury if I didn't play,” he said. “I kind of need to suck it up and make some points and try and get healthy. I think if I were to make the team after this week, I could be healthy by the time the Ryder Cup rolls around.”