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January 13, 2009

Harrison Frazar


Q. New equipment deal?

Q. Can you talk about that?
HARRISON FRAZAR: You know, I spent the first nine years of my career with Cleveland Golf, and I love the people and loved being with them. It was kind of -- they had to make some changes. They had to cut down their budget a couple of years ago, and I was one of the ones that got pushed out or got asked to move along, so to speak. I think 90 percent of the guys that were up for renewal that year and the following year were in the same boat, so it certainly wasn't personal.
But I found good relationships over those two years with TaylorMade and Callaway, guys that always took care of me, but always felt a little lost. Srixon bought Cleveland, so at the end of the year, I was looking for and told my management group, I said: I want to go with somebody that's going to make me feel like I'm a part of a full group. I want to be part of a team.

Q. You were not fully endorsed by TaylorMade and Callaway?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I was not a staff. I was caring TaylorMade's bag and hat and driver, but I was playing wedges from one company, putter from another, 3-wood over here, that kind of thing, which when the world is your oyster, it's not always a good thing. Too many choices.
Anyways, I started looking around and I narrowed it down to golf balls that I liked and the opportunity came up where Cleveland said, how -- the same guys that run Srixon run the Cleveland Tour. They said, "Would Harrison be interested in coming home again." And I, of course, jumped on it immediately and told my group that I wanted that to happen. And they made it happen.

Q. So what do you have in the bag?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I have the Srixon ball and I will play either Srixon or Cleveland irons, and I still have my TaylorMade driver. But what Srixon offers me is going to be a one-stop shop for everything else. They are still the same guys that putt together all my equipment eight years ago. They still have all my specs and they know what I like, and the personal touch. They were one of the first people that I saw here on Monday come up and shake my hand and say, "Welcome home."
And today, some of the guys out there with Srixon were out walking around and changing sure and checking how does the ball feel, the wedges, is everything okay, do we need to do this or do we need to that. That's the little attention that makes you feel really good about the little things.
So I'm really excited about it. Very happy.

Q. When we go through your record since '98, there's never been an issue of not having your card. Even two years ago, you still had conditional status. Is there any sense of appreciation coming back this way?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, absolutely. You know, the last couple of years have been hard and rough, and trying to raise a family and trying to, as we get older and do this longer, questions start popping up in your head, am I doing the right thing or is this going to be long term. My body is not responding the same way and the results are getting worse, am I on this slide.
But I think I had to re-evaluate at the end of last year when faced with loss of job, or, you know, suck it up and go get it done. I really do like this, and I want to do this. This is what I am.
So a little bit of a re focus there helped. The part about Q-School, about winning Q-School and getting back out here that way, I'm still the same guy that's going to have the same issues, but it just proved to me that I can do it, which had been quite a while since I had done it before.

Q. How close did you come to feeling like maybe you do need to do something different, or did you come that close?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I was to the point of playing golf with friends at home that are in the business community, and talking about options of moving forward, about what I could do for them. We were to that point.
And this economic environment is the not best time to go find a new job or change careers. But at the same time, there might have been some good opportunities, good chances to get with companies that were going to grow and expand and have good things happen.
So basically, in about September of last year, I had to just ask myself, I can't keep going not knowing which way and I have to figure out, do I want to play golf or just say, this is great, I enjoyed it and past part of my life we are going to move on. And I decided that for a myriad of reasons that I still want to be a golfer.

Q. How is this thinking part different from your previous entry into the business world, which was when?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Right out of college in '96. Yeah, '95, '96, I worked in commercial real estate. And I loved commercial real estate. I liked a lot of the parts of it and liked a lot of the people.
The reason I did that before was because I didn't think I was good enough to make it, and I didn't know if I wanted to subject myself to the disappointment. This past year was more of, okay, I've kind of done this. It is hard on your family and it is hard on your body, and most athletes get to a point where they just can't quite do it anymore, and am I there; I don't know, but am I there?
So different reasons. One was going to be a fear-based, and the other was an acceptance of, okay, it's time to move on.

Q. Hold on, if you didn't make it through Q-School, would you have gone to the Nationwide, or would you have gone to the Yellow Pages?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I decided that by that point if I didn't make it through Q-School I was going to commit to playing the Nationwide Tour and try to get back out, yes.

Q. Do you feel energized or different about this season?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I feel like some old fuses were re-lit. Realizing that I can play still, and that it is in there. There's enough to give me hope and make me want to go back to work and try to find it.
So, yeah, I'm very, very excited about this season because of what it potentially could offer. I feel like I learned a lot. Confidence has gone back up. Now, like I said before, there's still, just being 37 years old, there's still going to be physical things and there's still going to be the tug away and the pull away from the kids and stuff like that. It's not all going to be perfect, but I know again that deep inside, it's in there.
So that makes it a lot easier to get up in the morning and go hit balls, go to work, go work on your short game, leave town when you feel like there's going to be some good coming. I do feel energized, but I do feel much more realistic.
It's kind of funny, the rules have changed and things have -- winning the Q-School and winning the Nationwide Tour and the status thing has kind of been up in the air lately. I think what it is now is I'm just No. 1 in the school, so I'll be subjected to the re shuffle.
There was a lot of people that thought if you win that tournament, it's like you finished in the Top-125, and having to explain to all of those people that, no, I'm a Q-School guy. If I don't play well, I'm not going to get in late if I'm still at the bottom. So I've still got to play well and it's not like all year is a free buy.

Q. When is the first reshuffle?

Q. Now, do you consider that a victory?
HARRISON FRAZAR: For me, yeah.

Q. I only ask, because your name would come up, and I think of this as a compliment, as the best player to never have won on TOUR; do you ever hear that?

Q. How do you react to that and how do you think the reaction, if you will to that, is comparable is the best to never win a major? There's always that debate of whether it's an insult or a compliment.
HARRISON FRAZAR: I think it's both. It's a compliment because people feel like there's a lot inside of and you what you're capable of. It's also a slight; it's a little jab by saying that you haven't done it. I know a lot of guys who have won one tournament or two tournaments, but have just flat-out been in the right spot at the right time and gotten lucky.

Q. Even at majors?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Even at some majors. Happens less often at majors obviously. But there's also a lot of guys out here that have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and played really well, and run into buzz saws or had something bad happen, and like in the instance of my career, the five or six really good opportunities, really good chances that I had to win, I either messed it up, or I ran into Tiger at Memorial or Ernie out here or Tom Watson at Colonial or something, that just maybe meant that it just hasn't happened.
Now, the first part of my career, I would have told you that I know it's going to happen. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when, kind of thing. I believed that. Three or four years ago, would I have told you, well, I'm not quite sure. Last year, I would have said no way. Right now, I've come back to telling you that I think it's going to happen.

Q. Is it the re dedication in your own mind?
HARRISON FRAZAR: I think it's more just the fact that I feel like I can. Y'all have to understand that when you go to Q-School you never go there thinking, this a great thing or this is wonderful or what a great opportunity. You're scared and you're nervous. There might be some young guys there that are looking at it as the greatest opportunity that's ever happened to them, but for the most of us, you're on panic mode and you're on full anxiety stressed out.
But I think that what I showed myself is that, really, when the chips are down, and when I've got to do something, I can do it. And I think that that is what I missed the last four years, is, yeah, anybody can go out and play a good round of golf when there's really nothing on it, but can you do it when it matters and can you hit the shot when it matters and can you sit there and continually hit good putts when they count and I have not shown myself that I could in a long time, until Q-School. So that's what I'm taking away from it.

Q. You can't let up that week.
HARRISON FRAZAR: You couldn't let up. After that 59, everyone wanted to offer congratulations and do talk shows and radio shows and everything else, and I had to step aside from it and say, two bad swings on that golf course that I've got to play tomorrow could be two triples, and guess what, I'm right back where we started at the beginning of the day. And I hit it in the water on 18 on the last day.

Q. Briny Baird said three or four years ago at Tampa, he had not won yet and he was saying he would almost rather be at his level, he thinks the whole year and if it's your week it's your week and if it's not, it's not as opposed to having that one right week where he happened to win, but pretty much stink the rest of the year.
HARRISON FRAZAR: I agree with him. I would rather do that. I would rather play along -- when you're playing well, and you're doing some things consistently like Briny does Briny is a great driver of the ball, very accurate, very consistent putter.
His temperament and his attitude, his mentality, I would say I think he's the best player that has not won, as far as just his overall approach to everything.
Now, his consistency and what he does to prepare how he plays is what allows him to stay on that roll, so to speak, where a few little putts go in, he's going to find himself in that position a lot more often.

Q. Which is the whole thing, to get yourself in position.
HARRISON FRAZAR: I would rather have that, that consistency and that ability to know that your game is good enough to finish Top-10, Top-20, any week you tee it up, a few extra putts or a good break, you're right there; rather than to be the guy that flies at the moon and all of a sudden gets a Band-Aid tip or one little thing that kind of gives him a little bit of confidence that week but it's gone the next week. I don't think I would want to be that way.

Q. There are a lot of Q-School guys here, Nationwide Tour grads and stuff, do you have any kind of advice for them?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Of course but nothing that jumps out other than -- I played today with Gary Woodland, and friends with Colt Knost, and I told both of them the same thing. I said when you're coming out of Q-School and you're getting new out here, don't be afraid to ask questions.
You can walk up to somebody like a Vijay Singh or an Adam Scott or a Jim Furyk or David Toms, and don't be afraid to ask for a practice round. Don't be afraid to sit down and have lunch with them, because you never know. Some guy might have a reputation of being tough or being a hard guy. You may connect, and you may find somebody that's got a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of information that you can ask and you can talk to them about these things to help you. You never know, you might find that.
But at the same time, go back and play golf with those guys in the Q-School category to remember where you are.

Q. Was there anybody that filled that role for you?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Jay Haas, Peter Jacobsen, Fred Couples to a degree, and even Justin, even though we are the same age.

Q. Were you afraid to approach them when you first got out?
HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I was. My first cut that I made was in L.A. and I got paired with Nick Faldo, and I was absolutely in shock and awe and I could not talk to him, I could not even bring myself to talk to him during the round.
But Justin kind of pushed me into a couple of groups after I started playing well, pushed me into social situations with them, to start getting comfortable, and then after I started playing a little bit better, Payne Stewart was one.
Tom Watson was one. Guys that came up and started shaking your hand and saying, good playing, and next thing you know, you're not afraid to be around them. You can jump in a bunker with Tom Watson, and ask, how do you do that; do you mind if I ask you how do you do that. Hal Sutton was another one that was open to help.
You've got to get over the fear and the intimidation of these guys, is my point, and don't be afraid, because they would like to impart that knowledge.

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