AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Jason Dufner got past Saturday without any of the troubles that have marked his weekend struggles. He knows Sunday will be a much bigger challenge.
Winless in 163 starts on the PGA Tour, Dufner shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over Graham DeLaet after the third round of the Zurich Classic.
"For me, it means instead of two good rounds I've had three good rounds, so maybe we can make it four, starting tomorrow," Dufner said. "I don't really think about all that type of stuff. Obviously, I know that I hadn't played as well as I would like on the weekends, try to identify some of the reasons why and try to implement some of those tomorrow."
Dufner birdied three of the first four holes to get to 15 under, holing 50-foot putt on the par-4 fourth and a 25-footer on the par-4 fifth.
"That's probably a huge key to today," Dufner said about his good start. "Maybe a couple of bogeys to start the round or even par through same holes maybe I start doubting myself again.
"Be nice to kind of start that way again, get you a little bit more comfortable, know that you're going to have a chance to shoot a score under par and not be struggling or fighting it for the day."
After dropping a stroke on the par-4 sixth, he birdied the par-5 seventh and got to 17 under with birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 18th. He has played the 18th in 4 under in three days.
"It's not a golf course I'm absolutely am in love with, but my results I'm in love with here," Dufner said about the Pete Dye layout. "There's some holes that don't look too well to me, but I played really well."
Dufner lost playoffs last year to Mark Wilson in the Phoenix Open and Keegan Bradley in the PGA Championship for two of his three career runner-up finishes.
"Right now a win would be great," Dufner said. "Obviously, I've been be knocking on the door with a lot of solid rounds, lot of solid play last year at the end of the year, but I take pride in being consistent with my game. I don't shoot too many high numbers. I don't feel like I'm very far away from playing well each week."