Dufner looks for Qatar pick-me-up after bout of pneumonia

Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:08am EST
 
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(Reuters) - U.S. PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner is hoping to be back firing on all cylinders at this week's $2.5 million Qatar Masters after being laid low by bronchitis and pneumonia.

The 36-year-old American did well to finish nine strokes adrift of winner Jimmy Walker after becoming ill at the Sony Open in Hawaii two weeks ago.

"I got bronchitis and pneumonia when I was at the Sony so I've been trying to deal with that and trying to get healthier," he told the European Tour website (www.europeantour.com) on Tuesday.

"I didn't do much practicing at home last week, I was trying to get healthy."

This week represents a rare European Tour foray for Dufner who is looking to improve on the tie for ninth he achieved at the Doha Golf Club 12 months ago.

"We've got a great field again this year," said the world number 13. "It's a long golf course, a lot of the par-fives are not reachable for me so I need to be in the fairway.

"I need to wedge it well on the par-fives, the rough is up a good bit this year," added Dufner who landed his first major when he won the U.S. PGA at Oak Hill in August.

The title favorite in Qatar is world number three Henrik Stenson who will aim to rebound after missing the cut in last week's Abu Dhabi Championship, the first event of the tour's 'Desert Swing' which ends with next week's Dubai Classic.

"I feel my game is heading in the right direction," said the Swede. "Last week was not quite what I wanted but I had limited preparations and it now feels like I'm starting to hit the ball a bit better."   Continued...

 
U.S. team member Jason Dufner hits from a sand trap on the fourth hole during the first practice round for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Keane