Jason Dufner stays hot in Texas

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Jason Dufner lists Ben Hogan as his hero.

Jason Dufner hits out of a bunker onto the eighth green during the second round. A two-time winner this year, he shot 6-under-par 64 and leads Zach Johnson by two.   TONY GUTIERREZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
TONY GUTIERREZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jason Dufner hits out of a bunker onto the eighth green during the second round. A two-time winner this year, he shot 6-under-par 64 and leads Zach Johnson by two.

At Hogan’s Alley, Dufner has the lead halfway through the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial with a chance for a Texas two-step that only Hogan has accomplished.

Dufner had a bogey-free 6-under-par 64 on Friday to reach 11-under 129. A week after winning the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Dufner has a two-stroke lead over Zach Johnson – the 2010 winner who shot 67.

The only player to win both PGA Tour events in the Dallas-Fort Worth market in the same year was Hogan in 1946.

“That would be great company to join, obviously,” Dufner said. “To have anything compared to him or be talked in the same sentence with him is something that would be pretty unique and special to me.”

With the way Dufner is playing these days, his game is in a different class.

Both of Dufner’s PGA Tour victories came in his previous three starts. He has led or shared the lead after 11 of his past 34 rounds.

“When I step to the first tee, I feel like I’m going to play a good round of golf. That’s a nice way to play. It’s a comfortable way to play,” Dufner said. “I’m just trying to be confident and think about the things I’ve been doing for almost a year now, and realize that those are the things that are making me successful out here, and not get too caught up in everything else that’s going on around me.”

Johnson, who had an opening bogey-free 64, started the second round eagle-birdie-bogey. There was a four-hole stretch on the back nine when he alternated birdies and bogeys twice.

During the third round today, Johnson will be paired with his buddy Dufner.

“He’s got a good rhythm about him, about his game right now,” Johnson said. “But it’s irrelevant who I play with. I’m not playing against him. I’m playing against the golf course and the conditions and the elements that are presented. So that’s my focus.”

LOCAL INTEREST

BLAKE ADAMS Swainsboro, Ga.

Score 69-72

Shots back 12

WILL CLAXTON

Swainsboro Ga.*

Score 72-69

Shots back 12

VAUGHN TAYLOR

Evans resident

Score 74-70

Shots back MC

BRIAN GAY

Louisville, Ga.*

Score 74-72

Shots back MC

* former resident


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