Wednesday, June 29

Harrison Frazar Will Keep Playing

HARRISON FRAZAR WAS THROUGH. As John Feinstein writes in “A twist of fate” at GolfChannel.com, Frazar, playing with an 11-tournament medical exemption, had decided he would hang up the sticks this summer. A sports marketing job awaited him in Dallas.

“I had dinner with eight guys from the company last month after I missed the cut in New Orleans,” Frazar told Feinstein. “I really liked them and when they made the offer I said, ‘I’m there. I’m 99 percent sure I’m going to say yes. But I promised myself I’d play through the U.S. Open this year and I’m going to do that.’”

Then things happened. University of Texas teammate Justin Leonard saw a different Harrison Frazar in a practice round. Frazar seemed more relaxed, like his old self. He went on to qualify for the U.S. Open. But before heading to Congressional, there was a tournament to play in Memphis.

Frazar joined the PGA Tour in 1998 and was a top-100 player on the money list for nine straight years. Then, beginning in 2007, he dropped out of the top 125 and had to go back to Q-school to hang on to his card. Plagued by injuries and poor play the last two years, Frazar, who will be 40 in July, had had enough.

“In my mind, especially after I talked to those guys about the job, this was the end.”

Just as he was ready to set aside the clubs and slip into a suit, it all clicked in Memphis at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Frazar caught Robert Karlsson on Sunday and survived a three-hole sudden-death playoff to win his first PGA Tour title in 355 starts.

As Frazar explained to Feinstein, it was an answer to prayer.

“For a long time, Allison [Frazar’s wife] would pray to God to give me the peace to let me win,” he said. “Then she prayed that hard work would be rewarded. More recently she just asked him to please show me clearly what I’m supposed to do, whether I’m supposed to play golf or not play golf. I think the message I got is pretty clear.”

Frazar went on to finish in a tie for 22nd at the U.S. Open. With his victory in Memphis, he is exempt through 2013. The neckties will stay in the closet a while longer.

−The Armchair Golfer

No comments :