No surprise! Dufner again in the lead
Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Jason Dufner has some impressive numbers backing up how well he is playing right now.
After a six-under 64 on Friday, Dufner moved to 11-under 129 and atop the leaderboard after 36 holes of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
This is his fifth 36-hole lead this year on the PGA Tour, which is the most of any player.
In his last 34 rounds played, Dufner has been on top of the leaderboard after 11 of those rounds.
Dufner got his first PGA Tour victory four weeks ago in New Orleans. He earned his second tour title on Sunday at the Byron Nelson Championship, and in between the wins he even found time to get married.
"I've been really, really confident out there, playing some nice golf," said the soft-spoken Dufner. "The confidence and where my game is at physically has led me to have a good bit of leads here over the last two and a half months or so."
Dufner was asked to pinpoint when this career transformation from solid tour pro to potential star in the making happened.
"Probably at Augusta I played pretty well for two rounds," he said. "I didn't have the weekend that I wanted. That's a pretty tough test in that environment. It kind of showed me that the work that I've been doing has really paid dividends."
He didn't even take into account his playoff loss at last year's PGA Championship.
"That was pretty high too," he said. "I was so close to try to finish that out. I think it helped me out a lot this year."
Now, Dufner has the chance to become the first player to win the Byron Nelson and Colonial in consecutive weeks.
"That would be a pretty neat thing," Dufner said.
Dufner has a lot of work to do to become the tour's first three-time winner in 2012.
Zach Johnson, the first-round leader and 2010 champion, shot a three-under 67 and is alone in second at nine-under par.
"It doesn't matter who I play with tomorrow," said Johnson. "Certainly Jason and I are buddies. I will enjoy playing with him because he is a friend. It's nothing more than that."
Bo Van Pelt (64) and Tommy Gainey (67) share third place at seven-under 133.
Tom Gillis is alone in fifth after a one-under 69 left him at minus-six.
Dufner is the man to catch, and on Friday he began his second round on the 10th tee. He broke into red figures with a five-foot birdie putt at the par- three 13th.
His only other birdie on his opening side came at the par-four 17th. Dufner knocked his approach to seven feet and converted to reach seven-under par for the championship.
Dufner has played the demanding opening stretch at Colonial brilliantly through two rounds. On Friday, exactly as he did in Thursday's opening round, Dufner birdied Nos. 1-3, then birdied the fifth.
He was 11-under par and parred out for yet another second-round lead.
"After yesterday I felt pretty good about my chances of playing well this week," said Dufner. "So we will just go into the weekend with the lead and hopefully continue to play some good golf and maybe make a little bit of history."
Ryan Palmer (67) and Harris English (70) are tied for sixth at five-under 135.
Rickie Fowler, who won at Quail Hollow a few weeks back, shot a two-under 68 and is knotted in eighth with this year's Mayakoba Golf Classic champion John Huh (66), Ryan Moore (69) and Bryce Molder (64). The group finished at minus- four.
NOTES: John Daly shot a one-under 69 and is tied for 21st at one-under par...The 36-hole cut fell at three-over 143 and last year's winner David Toms, Ryo Ishikawa and American Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III missed the weekend.