Skip to main content

Newly-wed Dufner dreams of Ryder Cup after magic month

May 21, 2012 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
American golfer Jason Dufner rose to a career-high 14th in the world rankings after winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
American golfer Jason Dufner rose to a career-high 14th in the world rankings after winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Justin Dufner leads FedEx Cup standings after his second win in three weeks
  • The 35-year-old hoping to qualify for U.S. Ryder Cup team in September
  • In 22 days he has pocketed more than $2.2 million and got married
  • Former U.S. Ryder Cup player Anthony Kim suffers injury setback

(CNN) -- In just over three weeks, Jason Dufner has won his first two PGA Tour titles and got married.

As the new leader of the FedEx Cup series, the American has catapulted himself into the top-15 of the world rankings and is considered a real contender to win his first major at next month's U.S. Open.

But what he really wants is a spot in Davis Love's Ryder Cup squad come September as the U.S. team seeks to avenge the 2010 defeat by Europe.

"I hope it gets Davis Love's attention. I think I will be No. 1 in the points, so I hope that gets his attention," Dufner told reporters after sinking a final-hole birdie to avoid a playoff at the Byron Nelson Championship on Sunday.

Monty: Difficult time for Tiger
The quest to become a pro golfer
'Lefty' to enter golf's Hall of Fame

"Obviously being a Ryder Cup year, that would be special to have on your resume and play in, even if it's only for one time. That was one of my main goals. The FedEx Cup, being No. 1 is a great position to be in, but we're maybe a little more than halfway through, so we have a long haul on that."

Having been winless for 163 PGA Tour starts, Dufner finally broke his duck in New Orleans at the end of last month when he beat three-time major winner Ernie Els in a playoff to claim the $1.15 million first prize at the Zurich Classic.

The 35-year-old then wed his partner Amanda, had his honeymoon at last week's Players Championship in Florida and took home another $1.17 million in Texas on Sunday as he denied fellow Alabama resident Dicky Pride the chance to claim his second title 18 years after his first -- which would have been a record gap.

"All these things that come with winning are great but I don't think much about 'em, other than the Ryder Cup and trying to win tournaments," Dufner said.

"You probably couldn't dream it any better than what's been going on here. The wedding has been in the works for close to a year so -- I guess I proposed in July -- but to win two events and get married in the span of 22 days, it's pretty remarkable.

"Amanda and I are lucky to be in the position we're in and to have each other and enjoy what's going on around us right now."

Last year Dufner was twice denied his maiden victory in playoffs, the latter coming in the PGA Championship as Keegan Bradley claimed his first major, but he insists he never lost faith that the breakthrough would come.

Rickie Fowler, one of golf's most colorful characters, celebrates his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow, where he won in a playoff against 2010 champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points. Rickie Fowler, one of golf's most colorful characters, celebrates his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow, where he won in a playoff against 2010 champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
Fowler's first
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Fowler\'s first PGA Tour title Fowler's first PGA Tour title
Donald Trump appeared at the Scottish parliament to express his objection to a proposed wind farm off the coast of his new golf course and hotel complex in Aberdeenshire. He claims he was misled by Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond over the offshore development.
Donald Trump appeared at the Scottish parliament to express his objection to a proposed wind farm off the coast of his new golf course and hotel complex in Aberdeenshire. He claims he was misled by Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond over the offshore development.
Trump blown off course?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Trump threatens to sue Scotland Trump threatens to sue Scotland
Ernie Els is most famous for his golfing exploits, but as his career reaches its twilight years he is focusing on a cause dear to his heart. Ernie Els is most famous for his golfing exploits, but as his career reaches its twilight years he is focusing on a cause dear to his heart.
Close to home
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Ernie Els: A father\'s love Ernie Els: A father's love

"People don't realize how fine the line is between winning. Sometimes that can be a hard pill to swallow, but when I've been on the other side of it, I always took encouragement from it, that I was playing great golf, and my time was going to come," he said.

"I think it really just propelled me this offseason. I played some events overseas where I played well, and I was thinking coming into the beginning of this year that I could play some really good golf. It's time to win some events out here.

"I feel comfortable on the golf course when I'm out there. I feel like I'm in good control of my game, getting better emotionally with dealing with the pressures of trying to win out here."

Meanwhile, former U.S. Ryder Cup player Anthony Kim has no chance of qualifying for this year's match in Illinois after being ruled out for up to five months with arm injuries.

Kim missed the 2010 defeat in Wales after having thumb surgery, and now he faces another long rehabilitation after damaging his right elbow when he hit a rock at the Texas Open as well as suffering from tendinitis in his left forearm.

"I'm obviously disappointed because I've been fighting to get my game back on the right track and having an injury hold me back is frustrating," the three-time winner said in a statement on the PGA Tour website.

"I've been through this process before, though, and know that you have to put in your work with treatments to get healthy. That will be my focus for the next four or five months so I'm in a position to return healthy towards the end of the year and be fully ready for 2013."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT