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Dufner back in Qatar, keen to see more of world

- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DOHA, Qatar (AP) - From two golf tournaments in Hawaii this month, Jason Dufner picked up $314,000 in prize money - and bronchitis and pneumonia.

More than a week and 13 time zones later, the U.S. PGA Championship winner is feeling better, which is why he's in Doha for the Qatar Masters starting on Wednesday.

In his first appearance in the European Tour event last year he tied for ninth, and enjoyed the desert course.

"I didn't do much practicing last week at home, trying to get healthy," Dufner said on Tuesday. "I am feeling considerably better."

The Qatar Masters is the first overseas event of the year for the American, who intends to use his passport more this year.

He's playing in the Dubai Desert Classic next week for the first time, and lined up the China Open after the Masters in April.

"I played a handful of European events last year, including here in Qatar and the Perth International in Australia, so I hope travelling will translate into some good results," he said. "I am looking this year to play four to six events and maybe eight this year.

"I might be stepping out of my comfort zone a bit but I think it's fun.

"Traveling the world as I have started to do recently, and playing in different countries and on different golf courses I hope will all help me figure out how to be a better pro.

"You look at the old time players, Mr. Nicklaus, Mr. Player and Mr. Trevino travelled all over the world winning many, many tournaments. We are a little spoiled in the States given the schedule we play and the purses we play for but this way I get to see the world. It's a win-win situation for me."

Meanwhile, Darren Clarke, who made his pro debut in 1990 when Dufner was 13, will tee up in his 500th European Tour event.

"When it was mentioned to me the other day this is my 500th event, I couldn't remember if I've played 300, 400 or 600," Clarke said.

"It's nice to be honored but then it also just shows I'm old."

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