Jason Dufner
42-Year-Old Golfer
2018–19 Fantasy Outlook
Dufner has played been both great and just average over the past five years and as he approaches the age of 42, he's at a bit of a crossroads. He's only a year removed from a stellar season where he earned over $3 million, but at some point, age is going to catch up with him. Is that what happened last season? A look at Dufner's stats from last season reveal a drop in nearly every measurable category. Drop-offs due to age don't generally just hit a gut that quickly in this sport, which means last season was probably just a bad season. Dufner had wins in the two seasons prior to last season, and with a couple adjustments, he could get back there again this season. Read Past Outlooks
T66 at 3M Open
July 8, 2019
Dufner closed with a 74 on Sunday to finish five-under-par, tied for 66th at the 3M Open.
Dufner, 42, disappointed at TPC Twin Cities but has shown signs of improvement in recent appearances with two top-10 finishes in his last seven tournaments, including a top-five finish at the Wells Fargo Championship. On Sunday, Dufner struggled to keep the ball in the fairway, finishing his final round three-over-par as a result of poor driving accuracy. The veteran's last win on tour came at the 2017 Memorial tournament.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Dufner might not be the guy who won twice in 2012 while earning nearly $5 million, but he's proven to be a reliable force on the PGA Tour. Dufner followed up his 2012 season with another solid performance in the season that followed, but he started to regress soon after, finally bottoming out in 2015 when he barely cracked the $1 million mark. He made a big jump the following season though and he improved upon that number last season. Dufner is a guy who is probably going to end up in the $3-4 million mark for the next few years, but that's just not good enough to take him in a salary cap league.
Is Dufner the major-winner who won nearly $5 million in 2012 or the guy who barely cracked the $1 million mark in 2014-15? Last year he looked more like the $5 million man than the $1 million man, but there's still no way to tell which way he goes from here. There is hope that Dufner can get back to the heights of his 2012 season, but at a price nearing $3 million, he's probably not worth the price this season in salary cap leagues. In draft leagues he should go near the fourth round.
Well, so much for backing up that major championship in 2013. OK, so he had an excuse for part of the year -- we don't know how long he was dealing with his neck injury, which might actually explain the entire year. Dufner's misfortune is a break for those in salary cap leagues, though, as he's now priced at a bargain level entering the 2015 season. Dufner only played 17 events last year, so if he can get healthy, there's no question he'll play more and make more money in 2015. As such, he's a "must-have" in salary cap leagues and should go near the third round in draft leagues.
Dufner's 2013 was headed nowhere, and then… he won a major. Typical Dufner. If you've watched him play, you know, it's impossible to get a read on this guy. He always has the same demeanor, which in golf is probably a good thing. Never to high, never to low, which is how, even when we all discounted him, he won the PGA Championship. As for the future, how in the world can anyone tell? We do know this, he's got a load of talent and doesn't seemed phased by his new status as a major champion, which means he shouldn't suffer the hangover that often comes the year after one's first major. Dufner will go anywhere from 15-25 in draft leagues and he's worth a look in salary cap leagues.
Dufner showed signs late in the 2011 season that he was ready to break out in 2012. Little did we know that he'd finish in the top 5 on the money list. Dufner had a tremendous 2012 season that included two wins and eight top-10 finishes. Also impressive was his ability to make it to the weekend; in 22 events, Dufner missed the cut once last season. He made the cut at all four majors, finishing no lower than 31st. That's a great sign as the next step is to capture a major, and Dufner has the talent and demeanor to do it. Now, the bad news. Dufner set the bar pretty high last year, and it will be difficult, though not impossible, to improve his earnings from last season. Any improvement likely will require a major victory, though that's not out of the question. Dufner is probably a little too risky to select in a salary cap league, but he's a first-rounder in draft leagues.
Dufner might be the best PGA Tour player without a victory. A distinction that's both good and bad. Good if you are young, bad if you are older. Dufner isn't exactly making plans for the Champions Tour just yet, but he'd better get moving if he's to win on the PGA Tour. Dufner turns 35 in March and will enter this season coming off a career-high in earnings and Top-5s. Certain golfers have played their best golf after their mid-30s, but Dufner doesn't have a track record that would suggest he's about to blow up. His previous earnings high came in 2009 when he topped $2 million, but he followed that up with a less-than-stellar 2010 season.
It's been quite the roller coaster for Dufner the last three seasons. He went from earning less than $300K in 2008 to breaking $2 million in 2009 to back to just over $1 million last season. Dufner showed his potential in 2009 when he captured six top-10s, including a runner-up and a third-place finish, but we may have seen his ceiling that year as well. While it's possible that he returns to his 2009 level this season, it's more likely that he's found his spot on the money list right here for the next few years. Dufner specializes in accuracy off the tee. When he's playing his best, he's a well-rounded player, performing well in all four core stat categories.
Dufner battled an assortment of injuries in his first few professional seasons, but he was finally healthy in 2009 and finished the season ranked 11th in the FedEx Cup standings. In his first healthy year on the Tour, Dufner cracked the top-10 six times, which included a runner-up finish as well as a third-place finish. His $2 million in earnings more than doubled his career earnings from his previous three seasons. Dufner was very consistent in 2009, spreading out his success over the course of the season. Look for continued growth from Dufner this season, though his ceiling may be just a bit beyond where he reached last year.
More Fantasy News
Ready for Pebble
June 10, 2019
Dufner (undisclosed) is listed in the field for this week's U.S. Open.
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Withdraws from RBC Canadian Open
Not Injury Related
June 4, 2019
Dufner has withdrawn his name from the RBC Canadian Open, Rob Bolton of PGATour.com reports.
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T7 finish at Muirfield Village
June 2, 2019
Dufner finished in a share of seventh place after shooting a three-under 69 in the final round of the Memorial Tournament.
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Drops 25 spots in final round
May 28, 2019
Dufner dropped into a tie for 40th place after a five-over 75 on Sunday at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
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Putter goes ice cold on weekend
May 5, 2019
Dufner shot a two-over 73 in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship and finished in a tie for fourth place.
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