• Crowne Plaza Invitational, Round Two

Dufner plays his way to the front again

ESPN staff
May 25, 2012
Jason Dufner remains in great form © Getty Images


Jason Dufner's recent hot streak shows no signs of coming to an end after the American hit the front at the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Friday.

Dufner, who has won twice on the PGA Tour in the past month, recorded a second round of 64 to pair with his opening 65 and claim the clubhouse lead at Colonial at 11-under.

The Zurich Classic and Byron Nelson champion enjoyed a bogey-free 18 holes, picking up six birdies after starting his day on the 10th. His best run of scoring came after the turn, as he birdied the first, second and third to leapfrog to the top of the early leaderboard.

Having already won at the Byron Nelson last week, Dufner is bidding to become the first player ever to win the two events held in north Texas.

"Hopefully [I'll] continue to play some good golf and maybe make a little bit of history," Dufner said, when asked about the challenge.

He will play in the final pairing on Saturday alongside Zach Johnson, who was incapable of recapturing the magic of Thursday's 64 but nevertheless managed to put together a three-under par round of 67 that sees him lie nine-under, just two off Dufner's remarkable pace.

Bo van Pelt and Tommy Gainey lie third, the Americans sitting four shots behind Dufner at seven-under despite Van Pelt matching his Friday round of 64 and Gainey returning to the clubhouse with a 67.

Tom Gillis, who contended at the Honda Classic at the start of the season, is six-under, while Dufner's playing partner Rickie Fowler, who won his first career title at Quail Hollow recently, went round in 68 for the second successive day - leaving him four-under for the tournament.

"We're going to have to play catch-up this weekend," he noted.

Sergio Garcia lies two-under after a round of 73, although it could have been a lot worse for the Spaniard after he appeared to lose focus around the turn. That slip - in both technique and attitude - saw him go on a run of quadruple-bogey, bogey, birdie, bogey in a four-hole span. In that light, a three-over round of 73 - still inside the cut line - was a reasonable result.

Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen is just inside the top 20 at two-under after a second round of 67. Hunter Mahan sits level and Matt Kuchar is one-over, while Englishman Brian Davis withdrew following his opening round 76.

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