Jason Dufner is playing in his first tournament since winning the PGA Championship two weeks ago at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
Dufner, who was back in Auburn, Ala., in the wee hours Monday morning, said: “I still took the trash out on Tuesday morning, and we actually got a new puppy, so I was up at 3 in the morning every night taking him out to the bathroom and still going to my favorite breakfast spot in town.
“So not too much has changed in my life. My wife hasn’t treated me any differently, and people around me are still treating me the same,” Dufner said. “So it’s pretty easy when you’ve got good people around you.”
Dufner’s life was a bit of a whirlwind after winning the PGA.
“But I live in a pretty small town,” said Dufner, a 2000 Auburn graduate. “People are used to me being around, so I didn’t have to deal with too much once I got back to Auburn.”
Getting a new cellphone number helped, too.
“It hasn’t been too bad, actually, because I changed my number about three weeks ago, so very limited people have access to my phone number,” he said. “You know, it’s been good. A lot of support from players, from people that I’ve gotten to know through the years, other athletes, Charles Barkley, Bo Jackson, people like that. When I came out yesterday, a lot of people that I had not seen were congratulatory, and people seemed genuinely happy for me, I guess.”
Therefore, not much has changed for the first-time major-championship winner as he enters the week No. 15 on the FexEx Cup points list. He still has the goal of advancing to next month’s Tour Championship for the third consecutive year.
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself,” Dufner said. “Just try to do the same thing as I’ve been doing the last couple years.”
Dufner tees off with Kevin Streelman and Jason Day at 7:54 a.m. EDT Thursday in the first round of The Barclays at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
“I’m pretty good at thinking ahead and moving forward,” Dufner said. “I had a little bit of relaxation there for a week, but my mind is getting ready to try and compete this week.”