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January 17, 2004

Harrison Frazar


JOHN BUSH: Harrison, you have a one-shot lead going into the final round. You finished really strong today with three birdies coming in. How important was that for you?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, it was very important. I felt like I was playing pretty well, but just missed one here or there and couldn't quite capitalize on some of the good shots I was hitting.

You know, on 13, I actually hit a perfect drive and then just got kind of crazy with the iron shot and wasn't paying attention and missed in a bad spot. So that kind of calmed me down and made me start focusing.

I nearly made birdie on 14 and hit a good shot on 15. The putt just didn't drop. I hit a really good putt.

I thought 16 was a good shot. 17 was an average shot but a really good putt. And 18 I felt like I played the whole hole really well.

JOHN BUSH: Take us through that finish, those three holes.

HARRISON FRAZAR: 16, I hit 3-wood off the tee. I had like maybe 158 yards or something like that to the hole. Really, the club was kind of a three-quarter knock-down 8 that I didn't want to hit in the bunker long. So I hit a real hard 9-iron -- maybe it was 152. But hit a good, solid 9-iron to about 12, 15 feet below the hole and had an easy putt up the hill.

17, the pin is about as easy as it's going to get on that hole. The wind was basically non-existent. I had just about 178 I think to the top, maybe 183 or 184 to the hole and hit a good, hard 7-iron pin-high maybe just about, I don't know, 15, 18 feet. And then uphill putt, breaking right-to-left.

18, I hit a 4-wood up over the corner in the middle of the fairway and then hit a 3-iron. I had 235 to the hole and hit a 3-iron that really was about as solid a 3-iron as I've hit in a long time, and it was barely to the left and went drew just a hair and went into the upslope of that little collection area there. I had a perfect lie, perfect look at it. I was really trying to make that chip. Didn't hit a great chip, but left it, I guess, about a foot and a half short.

Q. Early on, you were hitting it close but not making the birdie putts. What was the difference on the back nine? Obviously, you were rolling it really well.

HARRISON FRAZAR: You know, I wouldn't say it wasn't that I wasn't making birdie putts. I wasn't hitting it close to the hole. I missed the first three greens. 4 I had a pretty good shot in there. It was a fairly tough putt. No. 5, I hit a wedge in there I guess to about 12 feet and hit a good putt there. That was kind of the start of good putts that didn't go in.

I think that it was just getting confident and comfortable in where I was going to hit it on the green. Irons were a little loose. I was hitting them really solid; and therefore, the ball wasn't doing its normal left-to-right movement for me, which is why I was missing a lot of greens to the left early in the middle part of the round. And finally at the end, I just started hitting it at it and, you know, quit trying to start it 12, 15 feet left of the flag. So it took me a little while to get used to that.

Q. Was it hard getting used to hitting it solid, is that what you're telling us?

HARRISON FRAZAR: It was hard -- yeah, I'm leading the golf tournament, but I still don't feel like I'm real sharp. I'm still rusty and most of the time when I'm not really on my game, the ball moves left-to-right. Today I think I surprised myself with how solid I was hitting my irons; and therefore, the ball, when I'm hitting well, the ball doesn't move. The ball stays real straight. And today I was favoring the left side expecting myself to miss it a little bit and wasn't doing it. It was surprise a little bit and took me a couple of holes to get used to and then to trust it; that it was not going to work right.

Q. You've been in this spot, 54-hole lead twice before, anything that you learned from maybe last year in Phoenix or anything about how to approach it tomorrow?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, I'd like to I learned something. But, you know, I don't know, really what it is. I haven't figured it out yet before. But I think that what I've gathered is to not pay attention to what everybody around me is doing.

I learned that last year in Phoenix when -- in fact, Justin, last year at Phoenix, wrote me a letter and told me before the round: "Don't pay attention to what's going on around you, play your game." And he said in the note: "Somebody behind you will make a move, but just stick to your guns and keep playing." I thought, well, okay, yeah whatever. Well, sure enough, Vijay and goes and shoots 28 or 29 on front. You know I fully expect that to happen tomorrow, too.

But I think I learned my lesson there that you can't sit back and watch what somebody is doing. You've got to play and you've got to attack and you kind of need to set a number in mind based on what the conditions are tomorrow and what you see early in the round. If the golf course is there, you get a feel through the first three or four holes what you think a good number is.

You know, then you go and you try to attack it, try to get that number.

Q. More likely than not, that person that could shoot the 28 or 29 on the front side is the guy you're playing with tomorrow, what's that going to be like in that situation where you're going to be playing with a guy that's the defending champion and Top-5 in the world?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Well, I think that -- I've played with Ernie before. He's very -- what's the word, he's a very calming presence. He's very easy to be around and to play with. I don't expect it -- he and I get along well. Our kids are similar in age. I have a feeling that there probably won't be a whole lot of chatter, but we'll have some common things to talk about early in the round.

If I can just kind of follow into the rhythm that he sets -- he's been there a heck of a lot more times than I have and I would be foolish to not pay attention to what he's doing.

As far as the approach and the attitude, not worrying so much about his score, but watch how he gets into the rhythm and sticks to the routine and does his deal, and hopefully I'll jump right in sync and just start playing.

Q. Would that be fair to say you rely on him to set the pace tomorrow.

HARRISON FRAZAR: No. But I can remember back in rounds where I've felt like I was on the verge of doing some good things or had a good tournament in hand and things got a little shaky early. If you're playing with somebody that's very experienced it's easier to watch them, how they handle a little bit of adversity early, to where if you're playing with somebody that's not experienced, they get a little frazzled, you can get frazzled and then things can kind of unravel pretty quickly.

I'm not intimidated to play with Ernie. He's a great player. But, you know, he's got to play the same golf course I do. But I think I can learn from him and watch him.

Q. So in this particular case, in this particular situation, do you think you have a better chance with playing with Ernie than without?

HARRISON FRAZAR: Yes, I do. With the guys that are behind, Lickliter is playing well. Azinger is -- is Paul at 11? He is obviously played well. He likes this golf course. This is his kind of thing here.

Davis Love, what can you say, he's a great player and one of the best in the world, also. Knows how to win. Those guys are going to be coming after us.

I think that if I were playing with one of those guys who maybe I don't feel as comfortable with as I do with Ernie, then knowing Ernie was behind me and chasing, that would be different. But I think it's going to be pretty easy playing with Ernie. I look at it as not only a treat and an honor, but an advantage.

JOHN BUSH: Harrison, good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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