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Cleveland native Jason Dufner ready for 1st Ryder Cup

Cleveland native and current World No. 9 golfer Jason Dufner is in the midst of a breakout year on the PGA Tour, and he's capping it off as a member of this year's U.S. Ryder Cup team. Recently, he spoke with Tim Rogers of The Plain Dealer to discuss his year and the Cup, which begins on Friday at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.

Making his first ever appearance on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Dufner is obviously excited about the event:

I enjoy match-play when I've had the opportunity to play. Obviously, I haven't played much of it. I give myself plenty of opportunities to make birdies when I play the Tour, so as long as I'm doing that I think I can have some success.

While U.S. captain Davis Love III hasn't announced his lineup for this year's matches yet, Dufner did note that he's already spoken with Love III about possible playing partners:

We have talked some and yes, I care. I think I pair up well with Zach [Johnson]. We have similar games and I think that's important.

Johnson, currently ranked No. 17 in the world, is one of 14 players on the American team, which also includes Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, among others. Team Europe, captained by Jose Maria Olazabal, features World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and more.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.