IRVING, Texas -- Things have not been going the way that Jason Dufner would have liked so far this season. He doesn't have a top-10 finish -- he has one top-15 (at Doral). And even though he finished in the top 20 at the Masters, he'd been disappointed with his year so far.
He said as much at the Byron Nelson Championship on Wednesday:
"It's been definitely pretty frustrating for me, but I'm trying to keep working on areas of my game that need to improve, and looking forward to putting some good rounds together."
Last year at this tournament, Dufner put some great rounds together. He shot 67-66-69-67 en route to a one-shot win over Dicky Pride that included a dramatic birdie on No. 18 for the championship. That came only weeks after Dufner's first career victory, at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
The win here propelled Dufner to second place the following week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational in nearby Fort Worth and a T4 at the U.S. Open just a few weeks later.
He mentioned that he's not too focused on last year's hot streak and trying to recapture that magic:
"I don't reflect on it very much at all, to be honest. That was in the past, golf is a transient game. Nothing is staying the same in golf. You're either getting better or you're getting worse."
Dufner hopes to keep getting better this week here, where he'll try to become just the third man to successfully defend his title since this tournament became the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in 1968 (the other two were Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson).
The crazy part is that winning here might not be the thing that he's most known for around Dallas. Dufner was visiting a community school in Dallas earlier this year when he was photographed "Dufnering" -- slouched up against a wall:
"I was just sitting and somebody decided to take a picture and put it on the Internet which is always exciting with regard to being in the public spotlight. I didn't take it too seriously, like most things in my life I don't take things too seriously, but it's been a good response and I think people have had a kick out of it."
Dufner, on the other hand, would get a kick out of winning his second straight Byron Nelson Championship.