Dufner once again in major mix


LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Jason Dufner is starting to make this a regular occurrence.

A two-time champion on the PGA Tour already this year, Dufner posted a bogey-free 4-under 66 in the second round of the Open Championship on Friday, moving into a share of fifth place entering the weekend.

“It's the first time for me in this event,” he said. “There's a lot of history in this event. It's an event I'd like to play well in. I've been disappointed with my past performances here. So it's good heading into the weekend to have a chance to win.”

It may be a first time for him at this tournament, but Dufner is becoming a major force.

In his last seven major championship starts, he has been inside the top-10 at the halfway mark five times. The previous four have led to three top-five results and a T-24 at this year’s Masters.

Dufner credits his recent major success to getting on site early. After showing up for the year’s first two majors a full week prior to the opening round, he arrived at Royal Lytham & St. Annes this past weekend.

“I was early over here practicing and preparing,” he explained. “I got over my jet lag, wasn't tired, wasn't fatigued. Had six or seven days over here to hit shots that I needed to and kind of get a feel for the style of golf that you need to play over here.”

Dufner will enter the third round a half-dozen strokes behind 36-hole leader Brandt Snedeker.