Seven years into his PGA Tour career Jason Kokrak had confirmed that he was a fine player, one easily capable of performing at the highest level and yet he had also failed to add trophies to his solid returns.
But, when the validation that comes with triumph became his, it did so in some style.
He claimed a first PGA Tour win at The CJ Cup in late 2020, a second victory followed at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June 2021, and a third in November that year at the Houston Open.
The tall Canadian-born player had always impressed with his long game, but time, experience and growing confidence had allowed him to improve sufficiently on the greens to become a regular winner.
He's yet to display his best golf in the Major Championships but that looks sure to be his target going forward.
Kokrak was a solid rather than standout performer at high school in Ohio and at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
He was not without highlights in the amateur ranks and the good news is that they occurred when he came up against quality opponents and in elite competitions.
He led the strokeplay qualifiers at the 2007 US Amateur at The Olympic Club in San Francisco and the same year progressed through sectional and regional qualifying to debut in the US Open at Oakmont.
Kokrak needed to start on the bottom rung of the professional tour ladder, but he proved himself in that tough arena and emerged an experienced performer.
He won four times on the eGolf Tour, bagging a pair of wins in both 2010 and 2011. In the former year he topped the end-of-year-rankings, but in the latter he used the victories as a warm-up for his first crack at the Nationwide (now Korn Ferry) Tour.
Moreover, he maintained the momentum, landing victories in the Boise Open and Miccosukee Championship to finish fourth leading money winner and earn graduation to the PGA Tour at the first time of asking.
Immediately at home
In finishing tied ninth at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Kokrak recorded his first top 10 on the main tour and also hinted at the strength that would make him a consistent performer at that level - he led the Greens in Regulation rankings that week.
Late that year he finished second in the Frys.com Open to secure his card for 2013 and he has never struggled to repeat that feat ever since.
He added another runner-up finish at the 2016 Northern Trust Open - holding the first 36-hole lead of his PGA Tour career in the process - and a third in 2019 at the Valspar Championship.
He posted 28 top 10s on the PGA Tour from his debut in 2012 to the end of the 2019-20 season, went 11 months without missing a cut from June 2018, and he played in every FedExCup Playoff series from 2013 onward.
He was undeniably at home at the highest level, but the wins that had come at the second and third tiers were proving difficult to find on the PGA Tour.
Ironically, perhaps, when he finally did lift a trophy he did so after tussling with a high class field at The CJ Cup in late 2020.
He got off to a quiet start in Las Vegas, but ended the second and third rounds in the top five and a final round 64 saw him pass Russell Henley and Xander Schauffele.
He revealed that he had a secret weapon that week in that he had played the Shadow Creek course over 20 times before.
"I know the greens pretty well," he said. "I know the little intricacies of this place. Not like some of the local caddies, but it is definitely a place that I feel comfortable at."
The win came in his 233rd start on the PGA Tour.
Golfers often talk of enjoying the first win, but immediately desiring a second to prove it was no fluke. It's also often the case that corroboration can prove as difficult as breakthrough.
Not for Dufner, however.
In early 2021 he laced together three consecutive top 10s at the prestigious WGC Workday Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and THE PLAYERS Championship.
In early summer he headed to Colonial Country Club, scene of one of his many near-misses just 12 months earlier, and proved he was a new golfer by challenging all week and then pouncing for the victory on Sunday.
Late in the year he landed a third win in just 29 starts when weekends rounds of 66-65 saw him pass no less than 24 players in the final 36 holes.
Incredibly his weekend had actually started with an appalling conclusion to his second round: he'd had seven holes left to play early on Saturday morning and had contrived to drop seven shots on them before rebounding in sensational style.
In December of 2021 he also added QBE Shootout victory alongside Kevin Na. It is an unofficial tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, but the manner of the win reiterated that he is a golfer growing used to winning.
Elite level results
It took nine starts before he ended a Major Championship inside the top 30 - and even then he could only finish T19th at the 2018 PGA Championship.
At the end of 2021 he had played another nine Majors and had improved his best to just T17th in the 2020 US Open.
To the same date he'd registered two top 10s in seven starts in World Golf Championship tournaments.
Jason Kokrak's personal life
He is married to Stephanie Mrofchak and they have children called Declan and Landon John.
The family live in Cleveland, Ohio. He supports Ohio State Buckeyes.
Jason Kokrak's net worth
He plays PXG irons, is a partner with Eagle Rare Life bourbon whiskey, and has on-course earning of over $15million.