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January 18, 2004

Harrison Frazar


JOE CHEMYCZ: Well, Harrison, let's talk, a great back nine, a great last ten holes for you to 6-under par to force the playoff, you and Ernie. Just talk a little bit about the playoff. Starting at 18.

HARRISON FRAZAR: Trying to kind.

You know, I think we both started out just a little bit loose. I hit some funny shots early and he started hitting some good shots earlier than I did and that's what kind of got me behind, you know, so to speak.

I think really both of us kind of settled down on No. 8. He had a real good shot in there out of left rough and I had a good iron shot in and missed it, but I think that's what kind of got us into the groove.

Then, yeah, we both played really well, kind of traded blows back and forth the last nine holes there. It was a whole lot of fun. You know, I knew I had to putt to win it there on 18 in regulation. Didn't hit a very good putt. He and just had a perfect putt right in the center, the heart, right there. Wasn't a real easy putt for him. But he's a great champion and a great player. You make those kind of putts.

Needless to say, I was a little surprised we were going to the playoff. I thought I was going have it there. Surprising that neither one of us birdied the first playoff hole. You know, I had a really pretty easy wedge shot. The last thing I told myself was go ahead and get it all the way up there and kind of juiced it just a little bit too much. The only thing I can think of is he must have had a bad lie over there in the rough by that bunker because it's not too terribly a difficult shot, I don't think.

Then on 10, I thought he was going to make that putt. When I made mine, I didn't think that there was any real -- I'm not going to say there wasn't any hope, but I fully expect him to make that one. Then when he missed that, I saw he had a 25 -, 30-footer there on 11. I knew he wasn't going to miss two in a row. I felt like I needed to make that one from across the green there and hit a decent putt. Misread it a little bit and he did exactly what I thought he would; he made it.

Q. To come so close for your first win, what were your emotions coming off and right now, how are you feeling?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, this is a step in the right direction, without a doubt. I don't feel like I got beat. I mean, I don't feel like I lost today. I got beat. I played well. When the heat was on there in the middle of the round, I kind of sucked it up and was able to get myself back in there, which, you know, in the past I haven't been able to do that. So, you know I think I found something inside of me that's going to help me further on down the road.

Obviously, I'm disappointed and, you know, this is going to hurt for a little while but, you know, I feel like I take with me the fact that I went toe-to-toe with Ernie, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, for the better half of 3 1/2 hours there, starting on No. 8. I felt like I held my ground with him pretty well.

So even though it hurts, there's a lot of positives to take from it.

Q. Do you feel like it was, I don't want to say a match-play format, but do you really believe it was you two on the back nine, was the difference?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Not really. Until we got to 17, really. I think Davis made that putt on 17 to get to 15-under, I think, and I think Ernie was already at 17. So I knew that Ernie was going to make birdie there at 17 or 18, I thought. So I knew that Davis -- or I didn't know, but I didn't feel like Davis had a chance to catch him. I thought it was -- that's when I thought it was just he and I.

But really, you know, we were kind of making so many birdies there on the back nine, I think he hit it stiff out of the bunker and chipped in, I chipped in and hit it stiff on 11 and we just had kind of a thing going back and forth there.

But I don't think we really ever got ourselves really, truly separated from everybody. I think the biggest lead was, what, maybe two or three that he had. So really, it was never just he and I, I don't think.

Q. When you were, if you were, sitting at home thinking about today, outside of the fact that you were thinking about winning, would you have envisioned you playing better than this today, than you did?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I don't think so. You know, to be quite honest with you, I did exactly what I thought I would do today. I thought I would start out nervous, thought I would start out a little bit unsure. I thought I was going to be able to rely on some good putting. I felt like I was going to hit more fairways than I did, but, you know, I had a one-shot lead and shot 4-under, I think, didn't I, on a pretty tough golf course. I think most of the time, that's going to be good enough.

But, you know, like I said, I think I did exactly what I expected and I'm proud of myself for that. I just got beat.

Q. I wonder if you could talk about 15, when Ernie is up two, has about a 30-footer for birdie and you're kind of thick in the rough there. It looked like you could have put it away there.

HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, actually going down No. 14 there, in the middle of the fairway, Ernie had just hit a great iron shot in there. That was a really tough pin to get to there with that wind. He hit a great shot in there and I was really, kind of had an awkward yardage. My caddie and I were talking about it. I said: I'm not going to do anything stupid right now. There's still some holes left. Some things could happen. Let's just hit it over there to the right. He hit a great shot, I needed him to make a mistake somewhere, but it could happen.

So there on 15, he was in the right rough, had a pretty tough shot where I could have caught a flyer but hit a good shot back there 30 feet. Then I tried to force it in there and knocked it in there with a hard pitching wedge. Really wasn't all of that difficult a shot. The lie was a little fluffy. I was trying to make it and fully expected, if there was going to be a mistake on that his part, it wasn't going to be there. I thought would he have a hard time maybe with 16 or 17.

But he opened the door a little bit for me there and that putt a little bit of wind in my sails.

Q. Also, wondered if you could talk about 10, after he really looked like he was starting to pull away, regulation 10. It looked like he was pulling away, you fought back twice today, really?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Yeah, I think he had a two-shot lead there. To be honest with you, I was real surprised with his choice of taking a driver at the green. I thought my caddie and I did a really good job of not watching what he was doing, and that was the first time that I thought that maybe he had made a mistake. Because as good as his wedge game is, that hole with that pin there, a good driver is going to putt him in that bunker, and maybe he wanted that bunker shot, I don't know.

I know personally, I don't want a 50-yard bunker shot, 40-yard bunker shot especially to the back pin. But I hit a marginal, good 4-wood, marginal wedge shot in there to 15 feet and barely got the putt to go in the front and then he missed his putt.

You know, then I hit a really good 5-iron on the next hole to about two feet. That was when -- when that 5-iron left the club face, that's when I kind of realized that I'm still in this thing, got a chance, let's get it going.

Q. What was your thought process with the second shot on the second playoff hole?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Out of the trees? There was a palm branch that was hanging down about halfway that I couldn't go up because the lie, it was like hard-pan around the rough. I needed to go down. But the grain of that rough on that hillside was coming right into me because it was real hard. I figured if I hit a hard little bump 8-iron into that hillside, it would hit hard enough to hop up top and at least maybe get me up somewhere just on the top right there and maybe 10, 12 feet from the hole.

But I just didn't hit it hard enough in the air. I think I needed to fly it another 10 feet in the air and then it might have hit the hillside and hopped up.

He kind of played the cards right and hit a good shot off the tee and then hit a good wedge shot in there about ten feet and forced my hand a little bit. I had to try that. If he had not have been right there, maybe I would have tried to do it differently and just tried to get it somewhere on the back of the green, but I felt like I had to get it somewhere within 15, 20 feet.

Q. What did you hit off the tee?


Q. Talk about the two putts on 18, about how far were they?


Q. Both the regulation and the first playoff.

HARRISON FRAZAR: The first one was about, oh, I'm going to guess about 35, 40 feet. It was going right uphill, right into the grain, looking into the sun, to be honest with you, I knew it was going to be pretty slow into the grain and bumpy. But I just couldn't make myself hit it hard enough. And unfortunately, that played a part in the put that I had the next time around coming back down that hill, downgrain, as slow as it was going up, I knew it was going to be that fast going down. I had a real good idea what the break was going to do. I just couldn't make myself hit it there and hit an aggressive putt. I knew it was going to be fast, so I tried to just trickle it in the front door and didn't have enough pace on it to hold its line.

Q. How far was that?

HARRISON FRAZAR: 20 feet maybe. 18, 20 feet.

Q. As you say, you shot 66 on a tough day playing with Ernie and twice really came back from 2-down. Compared to Phoenix or Colonial in '98, how much more does this make you convinced that your time is coming?

HARRISON FRAZAR: It's coming. It's coming. I thought it would be today, but I'm not disheartened in any way. I'm disappointed but I think I believe in myself right now more than I have in quite some time.

In my rookie year in '98 there, I had no idea what I was doing. Just kind of dumbed my way into it. Now it's getting harder because I do know more and I'm beginning to realize what it really takes to win. And you've got to get some good breaks and you've got to have some good things happen to you.

So instead of just doing it by the seat of my pants, I'm having to learn how to do it now. I think I'm working on all of right things. I think I'm improving in all of the right areas. I think my mindset and mental attitude is better than it's been. So, I fully expect it to happen here very soon.

Q. You and Flesch are pretty good friends, aren't you?


Q. Do you talk much about what he did in New Orleans last year?

HARRISON FRAZAR: The only thing I asked him after he did it, I said, "How in the world did you do that?"

He said, "I don't know, I was in a good mood."

And for Flesch, that's saying quite a bit. He's a tyrant out there on the golf course, and his attitude was good and he was being nice to himself more than anything else. He just didn't give up and you just keep plugging. And I think that's what I'm beginning to figure out is that the golf doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be beautiful. You're going to hit bad shots, but you've just got to keep going.

One bad one, you pick yourself up and try to hit a good one next time.

Q. What was it that prompted you to go back to golf after going into business for a while?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I missed being outside, for one. I liked real estate. But I missed being outside. I was playing some golf with Mark Brooks at the time and he kind of encouraged me that I ought to give it a shot. I saw some of the guys that I went to college with that were out there doing well: Tim Herron, Stewart Cink, Justin and those guys that were doing well. I competed with them fairly, I thought. I didn't see why I couldn't give it a shot.

And once that entered the thought process, I began to realize that, you know, I didn't want to be one of those guys at 32, 34 and wishing that I had taken a chance and have it be too late.

Q. How much were you doing at that time?

HARRISON FRAZAR: I was working 80 hours a week, 70 hours a week sitting in front of a computer screen crunching numbers for office building acquisitions. I was making about $20,000, $21,000 a year.

So, I mean, not great. It was risky for me to go. My boss was a good friend and has a reputation of, if you work hard and you put in the hours that he takes care of his people. So I left a job that was going to pay me well and let me live where I wanted to live and work the hours that I wanted to work in order to try this. And he was willing to give me a shot when nobody else would, so I appreciate that and thank him for it still today.

But my heart was calling me back to golf. And when I told him, he was the first one to say, "We were wondering what took you so long." He gave me a money and said, go give it a shot for three years, and when is it doesn't work, you've got your job back. It was a perfect environment.

End of FastScripts.

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