Third Appearance (Best Finish: 5th, 2014) Qualifying win: CareerBuilder Challenge
Jason Dufner returns to the Sentry Tournament of Champions for a third appearance after winning his fourth career PGA TOUR victory at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge. The Auburn alum collected six top 10s in his 2015-16 campaign, including a T8 at the TOUR Championship to end his season No. 19 in the FedExCup standings, his best result since 2013 when he finished at the same spot.
Dufner arrived in La Quinta, California trending in the right direction having posted matching T9 finishes in his previous two starts on TOUR. The 2013 PGA Championship winner took a two-stroke lead into the final round, but a 2-under 70 allowed him to be caught by Swede David Lingmerth, even after a miraculous up-and-down from the rocks at the par-3 17th preserved a par. The two met in a sudden death, where Dufner made a clutch 7-footer for par on the first extra hole to extend the playoff. When Lingmerth’s approach found the water on the second extra hole, Dufner took advantage and won the title with a par.
“I'm excited to accomplish one of my goals this early in the year, I'm excited to keep playing well,” Dufner said after the victory. “I feel like I'm doing some really good stuff. Usually when you win tournaments you get really confident and that breeds more winning or some more chances to win, which has kind of been the case for me.”