Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.
TPC Louisiana and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans must be welcome sites for Jason Dufner.
The resident of SEC country -- Dufner lives in Auburn, Ala. -- has four consecutive top-10 finishes at this week’s TOUR stop including his maiden victory last season. Another top 10 this week would be Dufner’s first in 2013 and first in a dozen official TOUR starts.
The last time Dufner went 12 starts between top 10s came at the end of 2009 and the start of 2010. That streak of 12 consecutive finishes outside the top 10 was snapped … wait for it … at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
In addition to his 2012 victory, Dufner has finishes of T3, T7 and T9 in his last four trips to Louisiana. He’s posted an aggregate score of 52-under in those starts in New Orleans. Prior to this run of great form, Dufner had a tie for 44th here in 2007 following a missed cut in his 2004 debut at this event.
A regular on TOUR since the inception of the FedExCup (2007), Dufner has qualified for the Playoffs in five of the first six years of the competition, making three trips to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in that span. That window encompasses 153 of Dufner’s 184 TOUR starts, 22 of his 24 top-10 finishes and both of his victories.
Dufner checks in this week at No. 74 in the FedExCup standings which marks his lowest ranking leading into the Zurich Classic since 2007. On the plus side, he boasts a stellar track record in New Orleans, where he’s improved his FedExCup standing each of the last five time’s he’s entered this event.
The stats support the standings in regard to Dufner's slow start to the season. A year ago, Dufner finished third on TOUR in the all-around ranking, which combines eight different statistical categories to indicate a golfer's overall efficiency. He's currently 96th in that stat, but hasn't finished outside the top 25 at TPC Louisiana in the statistic in any of his last four trips here. In fact, Dufner led the field in the all-around en route to his 2012 victory.
With that strong performance as a springboard, Dufner kicked his season into gear around this time last year. He won the Zurich Classic then added another win and four other top-10 finishes in his next six starts to take the lead in the FedExCup race and secure a great starting position in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Another strong outing at TPC Louisiana could be just what Dufner needs to get his 2013 season on track.
|Dufner's FedExCup finishes|
|Dufner's Zurich Classic results, FedExCup standings|