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June 29, 2006

Harrison Frazar


TODD BUDNICK: We welcome Harrison Frazer after a 5 under 65 first round at the 2006 Buick Championship.

Harrison, a nice day out there, six birdies and a bogey. Best round here in six trips to the TPC River Highlands. Talk about the day.

HARRISON FRAZER: Didn't really know what to expect, hadn't played a lot of golf. The last five weeks I haven't played much. I played a few times with my buddies at home and a couple of rounds with my father, but haven't hardly hit more than a bucket of balls at a time, maybe total, in the five weeks. Just spent a lot of time with my family, trying to get everybody squared away.

I came here feeling like I didn't know what it could have been 65 or 85, you know, I think that part of that, that takes a little bit of the pressure off, because the mediocre shots or the average shots, you don't get too upset by, you just kind of, you know, ho hum, shrug your shoulders and go find it.

Actually, I'm excited about being out here again. I'm excited about practicing. I'm looking forward to going down to the putting green and hitting putts and watching the ball roll, and go to the driving range and try to knock the flag down. It's becoming fun again.

TODD BUDNICK: When was it that your wife had her baby?

HARRISON FRAZER: We had our baby a week ago Monday, so he's nine days old. We had a C section, which is an interesting experience if you haven't seen one of those. We had our first two normally, and my sick mind, I asked to watch. Our two doctors, who are friends of ours, said, "Are you sure?" I said yes. They said all right. And I saw parts of my wife I'm probably not supposed to see.

But we have a seven year old and almost a four year old also, so playing Mr. Mom and being dad and nurse and husband and carpool driver and everything else for three weeks while we were doing all that stuff, that wasn't rest, by any means, but it was a vacation from golf.

Where most people go play golf to get away from their personal problems, I find solace in going home and getting real involved with my family, with my kids, get away from my problems on the golf course.

TODD BUDNICK: Questions?

Q. You talked about getting away. Is it a breath of fresh air? What you just described basically is probably part of your duties as a dad, more than anything else. I'm sure you're not a minority. Aren't a lot of guys basically in the same boat where they have to watch their families and it's hard to balance the two?

HARRISON FRAZER: If you try to be Superman and be the best golfer that you can and the best dad and the best husband all at the same time, you're going to wear yourself out. You can't do it. You have to be able to go on the road, trusting and knowing that everything is fine at home. Have that out of your mind where you can concentrate on being the best golfer that you can.

Having said that, there are times it depends where your priorities are and how much you value what. Sometimes you just have to let go of one thing just to focus on the other, and I just I wasn't playing well. I needed to make some money. But the best thing I could do at the time for me is to get away from golf for an extended period of time and go home and take care of them. They needed me there. If I would have been at a golf tournament I would have been spinning my wheels because I would have felt I needed to be there, so it would have been counterproductive. And I think and I hope they value the time that I was there, but it's going to be a long stretch the rest of the year.

I know that everybody at home now is happy, healthy. We don't have any reasons to go to the hospital. We've got no broken bones. Everybody is okay, you know. All the grandparents are healthy. They can pitch in and help as much as they can. So everything is fine. So now I can come out here and focus on playing golf. It's been a long time. Basically I haven't been able to do that all year, with just the myriad of different issues that have come up.

Q. By what you're saying, you have to pretty much be doing cartwheels for what you did today?

HARRISON FRAZER: Yes, I'm very pleased with what I did today. My caddie and I talked about it yesterday, saying that we really don't know what to expect so we're going to allow ourselves, with every shot we pick, just a little bit of margin for error. We're not going to try too much.

I feel like I'm rolling the ball well on the greens so if I can just get myself he asked me yesterday, "If you get yourself 25 or 30 feet on every green, would you take it?" I said, "Absolutely." He said, "Well, let's not get too fancy and try to stuff anything. Unless you feel really good with a club or if you get in trouble, let's get out, play safety first. Let's just ease ourselves back into this."

The good play will come at some point in time. Whether it's this week, next week, a month down the road, I don't know. This is just one of month four. If it continues, is yet to be seen. Today felt good. I felt like I drove it well.

The fairways that I missed, I didn't miss by many. I didn't miss too many greens and hit a lot of good putts that could have gone.

Q. Was there a point today where you and your caddie looked at one another and said, hey, this is going better than we thought or as well as we thought?

HARRISON FRAZER: No, never. In fact, my caddie has been around a long time. He could tell at times after I hit a good shot, you know, that if I was starting to think about it too much, you would hear the clubs clinking behind, he was running to catch up because we were going to talk about something else. We would talk about bird hunting or target shooting or fishing or whatever you could find. He kind of kept my mind off of it. And I really didn't realize I was really playing well until I mean, I knew I was playing well, but I never looked at a board. It just never came up, you know.

I'd hit a good shot and he would say, hey, beauty, great shot, good swing, beautiful shot, was very positive. If something didn't quite come off, it was always directed towards the positive. That's all right, we have plenty of green to work with. So we just kind of did all the right things and it was stress free, I guess I should say.

Q. Did you think much about what was going on at home during your round, having been away for so long, or were you surprised you were able to focus on golf?

HARRISON FRAZER: I was surprisingly very calm and just able to focus on golf. I have pictures of the kids hanging on the side of the bag. I looked at it a couple of times and it made me smile, but at the same time it makes me sad to know there is a nine day old baby at home that I'd like to see. I'd like to be the one giving him his bottle at night and burping him and putting him to bed. That's fun for me. I enjoy doing that. But I've got to do this too. It was okay.

I was a little bit like I said, a little bit sad at times I just wasn't there, but you get over that and hit your golf shot.

Q. What is the hardest part of all the issues that were going on?

HARRISON FRAZER: The hardest part of all of these issues? Boy, you're going to get into some deep issues here, if you want to know the truth. My wife was pregnant with twins and we lost one of the twins at about 12 weeks. She was real sick and going in and out of the hospital. We couldn't figure out why, what was wrong. They had her on Zofran, a lot of the chemotherapy drugs and stuff, to try to choose losing weight rather than gaining weight.

And on top of that, compounded, I have a brother with cerebral palsy who had a stroke in the womb, and one of my biggest fears is something happening to the baby in the womb. So we weren't sure everything was okay.

I want to grab ahold of everything if something isn't quite right, grab ahold of it and hold tight until it is manageable. And this is something that was uncontrollable, for me. So I had to sit back and try to learn to take things in stride, and that was the hardest part.

When we finally got through the C section, we got everything done, the baby came out, we actually had a point there about ten minutes before where the baby's heartbeat stopped because the doctor was running a little bit late and my wife was laying on her back for too long, which pregnant women aren't supposed to do. The baby rolled over on his cord and the heart rate cut out.

So a friend of ours, who is the doctor, ran in and said, no problem, I'm here, the doctor is not, but I'm here, we're done, we're going right now, and pushed me out of the way. Every doctor, every nurse, everybody within 50 yards was running 100 miles an hour. They're wheeling your wife away, screaming, crying. You're standing there thinking I can't do anything.

A couple of minutes later, the nurse came out and gave me a thumbs up and said everything is okay. The baby rolled off his cord, heartbeat back, we'll come get you in a minute. By the time that happened, we got everybody on it, he was fine. They did all the tests. Everything is fine. She's fine.

We were in the hospital four days. Got everybody home. Got the baby nourished. Got everybody in bed Friday night. Handed the baby off to the nurse. My wife was asleep. I fell into the bathroom and just fell right on the floor and laid there for about 45 minutes and didn't want to move because it was just finally everything was okay and it was over.

Q. A six month ordeal?

HARRISON FRAZER: It's been a long term deal. It's been bothering me quite a bit and I've been holding on to it. And it makes it real tough to play well.

Q. How close did you come, if at all, to shutting it down for the rest of the year, saying I don't have any interest in playing golf, I just want to stay home?

HARRISON FRAZER: There was a time on the West Coast where my wife's grandmother died, and then the whole week before that my 3 year old was in the hospital with what they called impacted stool. Basically he had a lump in his intestine. They had to go in manually chisel out. He was in the hospital. And they kept telling me, no big deal, stay out there and keep playing and keep playing.

Being torn between that, spending that week out there, realizing that I was out there and I couldn't do anything made me realize if another issue comes up, I'm going home, period, because I can't do that.

And then sometime right around Florida, I guess the week of Atlanta, my little boy fell and broke his arm. I'm driving him to the hospital and his arm is in a U shape up. We have it packed in ice. And the whole time in the hospital he's telling me, "Daddy, please don't leave." There was a time there where I thought, you know what, I'm going to walk away for a while. It's just too hard, too hard to leave, too hard to do this, too hard to focus.

But they pull through. Kids pull through. The wife pulled through. Everybody is supported. Family and everybody at home was great, so I tried to play a little while longer even though I was distracted. I didn't play very well but I was still trying. Yeah, the thought entered my mind.

Q. (No microphone.)

HARRISON FRAZER: You know, we as bread winners or as men, we are supposed to go fight, you know. We're supposed to go support. We're supposed to go out and go to battle, right? That's what we're told we're supposed to do. And I wasn't sure I wanted to. It was a slight attack on me as a person to feel that way. Suck it up mentality, get out there and go to work. It was a hard thing to do.

Like I said, I just reached a point, I tried to go to Memphis and actually got an ingrown fingernail. Be a man, dig it out, right? I tried to dig it out and it got so infected I couldn't play. Wednesday afternoon, the surgeon in Memphis said, "You have got to have that fingernail taken out." So they cut out a third of my fingernail Wednesday afternoon at the golf course. And me, being an idiot, I tried to go play golf the next day. That's when I just said I'm going home. God will tell me when to come back out and play. That's it.

TODD BUDNICK: We'll just go through your birdies.

HARRISON FRAZER: I could write a book. That's just six months. It's been rough, but I'm interested in some nice, clean free mind golf.

10, 11, 12, hit a bunch of good shots and just missed some opportunities at birdies. 13, I actually, I made about a 25 footer, had about eight feet of break. It was kind of an interesting pin there on that par 5.

14, I hit a little 8 iron back to that pin and had about a 15 footer that had about maybe two feet of break. I hit a real nice putt there.

The next hole I tried to hit a 4 wood up by the front of the green and pulled it just a little bit and it landed by the front left by that hump and kicked down to the water. Pitched to about eight feet, maybe ten, and missed that.

17, I hit a hybrid, a 3 iron kind of club off the tee and then hit a three quarter 8 iron in there to about six feet, made that.

No. 4, I hit a 4 wood off the tee and then hit an 8 iron maybe a little bit downwind. It was somewhere around 170 yards, 165 yards. I think I hit a hard 8 iron because it was downwind, hit it to about 10 feet. Hit a 10 footer down the hill, a couple of cups of break.

No. 5, I hit a 4 iron, I think. It was playing about 235 and I think I hit a 4 iron pin high on the right side of the green, had to go over the hump and it was probably a 35 footer.

7, I hit driver off the tee and then hit a gap wedge. I had maybe 125 yards and hit a gap wedge a little downwind. It landed about 15 feet behind the hole and pulled it back to about five feet.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, sir.

End of FastScripts.

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