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April 27, 2011

Marcus Fraser


Q. Tell me the neck story again?
MARCUS FRASER: Australian Open last year, picked up my son over my head and felt something go in my neck. Saw the physios at the tournament and just worked on it at the Australian Open, the PGA the following week and probably shouldn't have played.

Q. Did they diagnose a slipped disc?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, they thought it at the time, and I kept playing and probably shouldn't have. And over Christmas it just deteriorated. And went and saw the sports physician and he referred me to a surgeon and had an MRI and it showed the disc had prolapsed.
So then, yeah, it just kept going downhill and had a couple of days where I couldn't walk and lost all the use of my right arm. Lost all the feeling in my right hand, and then the surgeon took one look at me and said: We'll do it in two days' time. So he operated and after that, it was pain-free the next day.

Q. You basically were going to lose the feeling in your right arm?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, if I had not had the operation, I would never have played golf again and probably would have lost the use of my right arm. Kind of need your arm for golf.
I mean, the thought of the operation, was a bit of a question mark if I was ever going to play golf again or good golf again. So I just wanted to be healthy again and it was a bit of a no-brainer to have the operation. It was a pretty he easy decision.

Q. When was all that done then?
MARCUS FRASER: The last week of January I had the operation. I played Doral six weeks after the operation, and probably rushed it back a little bit, but still got a long way to go before it's a hundred per cent again.

Q. Did they put in a synthetic?
MARCUS FRASER: Put a synthetic disc in, put a carbon fiber cage around that, and caged two vertebras and also put a metal plate around everything. Nice and stable now. But I have plenty of bits and pieces to go in there.
So, yeah, if feels fine. It's a massive improvement from what it was.

Q. One thing it has done, really in search of form, really interrupted your preparation for the southbound and this championship, as defending champion?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, I enjoy practising but I haven't been able to do too much. I had a week's practise before I came up for these three tournaments. So that's not really enough to sort of compete I suppose, but it's just nice to be out there playing again and hopefully get some strength back in it pretty quick and get back to full health.

Q. Being defending champion here, nice feeling, coming back?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, for sure. It's not something that I've had to deal with too often, so it's nice when it does happen. It's a very special week this week with Ballantine's obviously being such a great sponsor of the tournament. And had an unbelievable dinner, tournament dinner last night, and it's slowly becoming, or very quickly becoming one of the biggest tournaments on our schedule.
So we're very fortunate that Ballantine's is a sponsor. Not only last year, being the third Ballantine's Championship, it's a very young tournament, but still very established. So it's very nice to have your name on that trophy.

Q. And lastly, tell me about your Championship Blend?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, that was awesome. Went to Glenburgie distillery just outside of Aberdeen and got shown through the distillery and made a blend for the championship this year.

Q. Different whiskys?
MARCUS FRASER: Yeah, different whiskys. It's like the master blender and put in the lot -- not that I knew anything about whiskey anyway, but it was unbelievable. A lot more goes into it than what I originally thought. And I get to keep one, too. It will be pretty cool. I will hopefully save that and open it on my son's 18 birthday. I've got to open it for a special occasion. It not something you just open for any old birthday. Something like that I'm going to try to hold onto it, hide it away under the house and hopefully no one finds it.

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