JASON DUFNER is back from injury and was feeling frisky enough to kick an AFL football around ahead of the 2014 Perth International.
The American major winner will join a very solid field for the European Tour co-sanctioned event at Lake Karrinyup Country Club – which begins on Thursday – that includes fellow major winners Charl Schwartzel and Geoff Ogilvy, Ryder Cup star Victor Dubuisson, 2014 Texas Open winner Steven Bowditch, five-time European Tour winner Brett Rumford and defending champion Jin Jeong.
Dufner has been sidelined with a neck injury but arrived in Western Australia happy to be back playing golf after not playing a competitive round since August.
“I love coming over to Australia and playing some golf. The courses are good, the competition is good, and the people of Australia really enjoy their golf,” said Dufner.
“I feel much better physically. I feel a little bit rested mentally. I’m excited to get back to playing some competitive golf over the next month or so.”
The 2013 US PGA Champion said he had totally removed himself from the game, admitting he hadn’t even watched the Ryder Cup.
“I totally detached myself from golf during that point. I wasn’t too interested in golf or what was going on in the golfing world during that time period. I didn’t watch one minute of the Ryder Cup,” he said.
“I got into a lot of different things. I don’t think you get to appreciate things too much, as far as the simple things in life, when we’re always out here travelling and playing.”
“It was disappointing that I was injured, but it wasn’t miserable for me.”
Dufner finished runner-up at the inaugural Perth International in 2012 but has little expectations this week, citing playing without pain would be an achievement.
Played for a prize purse of AU$1.75million, the ISPS Handa Perth International is Australia’s richest professional golf tournament and the only one co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour.
Live Coverage over four days on the seven Network.
1st & 2nd Rounds: Thursday and Friday 7Two, 1pm – 6.30pm (AEDT)
3rd & Final Rounds: Saturday and Sunday 7Mate, 1pm – 6pm (AEDT)
ISPS Handa Perth International LeaderboardPerth International Leaderboard