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December 24 2013

9:15 AM

No. 7 player to watch: Jason Dufner

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With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Check out this preview of No. 7 Jason Dufner and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.


NO. 7 PLAYER TO WATCH: JASON DUFNER

2014 OUTLOOK: Jason Dufner isn't one of the flashiest players on the PGA TOUR. This is, after all, a man who became a viral sensation for simply sitting on the floor, straight-legged and head-bowed, during a visit to a Houston elementary school. But underneath that low-key demeanor, Dufner is a focused competitor and he knows how to get the job done. He'll likely be looking for more consistency in 2014 -- he earned about two-thirds of his money and FedExCup points in the final five months of last season -- but if he gets off to a strong start next year, who knows what might happen? Maybe another victory like the one at Oak Hill where he tied the best score ever shot in a major with a second-round 63 and went on to win the PGA. That win was one of five top-10s in his last nine starts -- after posting none in his first 11. -- Helen Ross

THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Dufner played once in the fall portion of the TOUR's 2013-14 wrap-around season, tying for 34th at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.

EXPERT VIEWS
FANTASY OUTLOOK
Saved face with gamers with a huge second half, and he rides hot streaks with his putter like few others. Therein lies two lessons: 1) If you invest, remain patient; 2) If you don't invest, you probably won't miss him. -- Rob Bolton
ON THE MARK
Not one of the longest hitters on TOUR, Jason Dufner more than adequately makes up for that deficiency with his laser-like accuracy. In fact it is best described by a statement made by a fellow TOUR pro: “His iron play is so accurate you’ve got to lean sideways to see the pin when he hits shots.” Dufner’s technique, balance and swing poise are enviable and I have high respect for his swing and ball-striking. In my opinion if there is anything that he could improve it would be his putting stroke and his conversion on the greens. -- Mark Immelman
COURSE PREFERENCE
What a strange year Jason Dufner gave us. He struggled with three-putts and did not produce a top-10 finish until the U.S. Open. I really like his aggressive play off the tee; Jason is not intimidated with tight driving golf courses. He was 142nd in strokes gained-putting last season and yet 17th in scoring average at 69.994. I like him at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. -- Fred Albers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 
One of the best on TOUR from tee to green, Dufner has always struggled with putting, specifically from inside 5 feet. He missed 45 putts in 885 attempts from inside 5 feet, ranking 164th on TOUR in ‘13. He missed seven 3-footers in 670 attempts to rank 148th. From 4 feet, Dufner missed 19 times in 130 attempts, ranking 167th on TOUR. -- Bill Cooney

VIDEO VAULT

Jason Dufner ties majors scoring record in No. 7 Moment of 2013

In the second round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club, Jason Dufner ties the major championship scoring record with a 7-under 63 to take a two-shot lead and would go on to claim his first major.
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